Do you have to put on a stopwatch for the cross-country section of eventing?

  • Riders are allowed to put on a stopwatch for the cross-country section in any respect ranges in British Eventing (BE) competitions, however it’s not obligatory to take action.

    Whether or not you select to pop on a stopwatch can be ruled by your expertise, your horse’s age and expertise and your goals for the day – and private choice. Some riders prefer to journey on really feel alone at one-day occasions. Youthful or inexperienced riders could also be suggested by a coach to concentrate on getting the leaping proper first with out the distraction of carrying a watch and attempting to journey to time. And opponents on a younger horse will in all probability wish to prioritise his expertise around the course over competitiveness, so could nicely not put on a watch.

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    Accessible in 7 colors, this watch is what each eventer wants. It comes on an elasticated strap, provides minute beep indicators and has a 16mm show with an adjustable viewing angle.

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    Carrying a stopwatch: high rider and coach views

    By Sue Polley

    ‘No benefits to carrying a stopwatch’

    “In my opinion there aren’t any benefits to carrying a stopwatch on the decrease ranges,” says coach Jonathan Chapman, a British Horse Society Teacher (BHSI). “Driving is about really feel and it’s higher to get a number of time-penalties and progressively enhance your velocity – this can typically occur naturally because the partnership turns into extra assured moderately than forcing it from the outset.”

    ‘Stability throughout the tempo is extra essential’

    Jeanette Brakewell is one other coach and rider who stresses the significance of really feel and stability inside no matter tempo a horse is travelling at, moderately than tempo for tempo’s sake: “The proper tempo is essential however crucially the stability throughout the tempo is extra essential,” she says.

    “A stopwatch could be a good information as as to whether the rider is on the appropriate tempo for the extent they’re at after which to establish secure methods to make up time at their subsequent competitors. Conversely it may encourage riders to decelerate if they’ve been too quick. Carrying one at BE100 degree would give riders a superb gauge of the place they’re at in the event that they need to step as much as novice degree.”

    Jeanette by no means wears a stopwatch in any respect till a three-day occasion as she prefers to journey to how the horse feels.

    The YES camp

    Eventer and BE-accredited coach Mark Corbett feels it’s applicable to put on a stopwatch at any degree with the proviso that the rider’s base degree of leaping competence is nice sufficient.

    “I feel stopwatches assist riders perceive the rhythm they must be in, whatever the degree they’re at,” says Mark.

    “Nonetheless, doable issues are that these utilizing them could focus an excessive amount of on time and never sufficient on their leaping. This may be addressed by observe and schooling although. Grassroots riders ought to positively consider using them in coaching and on the gallops if they’re considering utilizing one at competitions. Even then, they need to solely achieve this once they know their leaping competence and coaching are adequate.”

    Former British younger rider staff coach Emma Fisher additionally acknowledges that stopwatches can truly be a superb coaching assist, saying: “They are often helpful to make use of on the gallops and to practise using at a sure tempo between two mounted factors.”

    Watches also can show very useful to file the time should you get stopped on target and as a manner of monitoring tempo. Nonetheless, the important thing to finally attaining the cross-country time, whatever the degree you might be using at, is to journey tight traces, transfer away out of your fences shortly, get your horse in a constant rhythm and intervene as little as doable – not by racing in opposition to a ticking watch.

    Optimum Time OE Sequence 3 Occasion Watch at
    Accessible in 7 colors, this watch is what each eventer wants. It comes on an elasticated strap, provides minute beep indicators and has a 16mm show with an adjustable viewing angle.

    View Deal

    View from a grassroots rider

    By H&H eventing editor Pippa Roome

    I occasion at BE80 and BE90 degree on a 15.1hh Connemara and I do put on a stopwatch. I completely agree that riders must prioritise leaping the fences – for each security and aggressive causes – earlier than velocity, however I additionally consider that to be constantly aggressive at grassroots, you should put on a stopwatch and be taught to journey to time.

    After all loads relies upon by yourself horse and your pure velocity as a partnership, however the way in which the time comes up on completely different programs varies loads in response to how tight the route has been measured and what the monitor is like when it comes to fences and terrain. As such, if you wish to make sure you’re throughout the 15-second penalty-free window, carrying a watch is critical.

    Generally, I must preserve transferring on to make the time at BE90 degree – I’m using a smaller horse, who isn’t naturally speedy, and carrying a watch and using to minute markers means I’ve reminders to maintain in control. I don’t at all times journey to make the time, after all. If I’m not in a aggressive place, I’ll take issues just a little simpler, however I truly must journey at round that tempo to offer the fitting willpower and stream to a spherical, so it’s nonetheless helpful to put on a watch, even when I’m pleased to simply accept a number of time-faults.

    I’ve, although, ridden the odd course the place I can very comfortably make the time and have obtained too-fast time-faults as soon as. Now that I’ve just a little extra expertise of carrying a stopwatch and using to minute markers, I prefer to assume I may keep away from this – whereas additionally avoiding the sanctions which might be given out for dramatically altering your tempo on the finish of a course to keep away from too-fast faults.

    I feel using with a stopwatch successfully is far simpler now that just about each course is on CrossCountry App with minute markers. It’s unlikely anybody will wheel the course themselves at a grassroots one-day occasion – you actually need to do a separate course-walk for that to the one you do to suss out the jumps, which there’s hardly ever time for. However you’ll find the minute markers on CrossCountry App and I be certain I notice them as I stroll the course and so typically have 4 checks on how I’m doing on time as I journey the course.

    I’ll additionally assume after strolling the course about whether or not some minutes are more likely to be slower – for instance if they’ve a number of leaping or combos that I must arrange for in them – and take that under consideration as I journey, so I wouldn’t panic if these slower sections took a bit over 60 seconds. I’d plan to make up the time within the elements with extra galloping stretches.

    I take advantage of the watch in depend down mode – I set it to 10 seconds over the optimum and press go when the starter provides me the 10-second immediate. In case you’re using to minute markers, you should work these into your planning – so if the optimum time is 4min 45sec, you should be at one minute at 3min 45sec, at two minutes at 2min 45sec and so forth. In some methods, it’s simpler to have your watch counting up – then the minute markers come up at one minute, two minutes and so forth, however I as soon as acquired terribly confused about what the optimum time was on target, so depend down does keep away from this. Totally different strategies will go well with completely different folks.

    Beeper on or beeper off is one thing else to think about. I favor to journey with the beeper off as I’ve sometimes discovered it distracting to have it sounding on the strategy to a fence and I don’t wrestle to have a look at the watch face, so I don’t want the audio immediate.

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