New Ideas for 2013

Inspiration comes from interesting places.  This weekend Richard Nicoll came to Southern Pines.  He is the course designer for the Southern Pines CDE in April.  While at dinner, we started talking about what he would be interested in seeing in Driving Digest and gave me some wonderful ideas for new articles for future issues.  I’m looking forward to starting to work on them very soon.  If you have ideas for articles, please pass them along to me.


3 responses to “New Ideas for 2013

  1. Gains and Aileen Hopkins

    Hi Ann,

    I am noticing considerable criticism of the increasingly subjective nature of the CDE judging by competitors in Europe and here in the USA. It would be great to get some discussion going as to how the rules can be simplified, especially for lower level competitions–both CDE and pleasure showing and how scoring can be simplified and made more objective. Further, course design is pricing many out of the sport especially cones courses and the necessity for far better engineered vehicles. There is an enormous problem with respect to conflicts of interest in many aspects of our sport–particularly in the dressage judging. I am not sure how much of this is perceived or real, but there is a problem that needs to be addressed. It appears to me that the ADS begs for suggestions and then does not even demonstrate the courtesy of acknowledging receipt of suggestions much less providing a response.


    Ed Hopkins

    • Hi Ed,
      Thanks for your comments. I wish I had the magic answer. We just spent a couple of days with Richard Nicoll who was here in Southern Pines to work on the SPCDE course. He too was bemoaning the ever more complicated rules and is a proponent of making things simpler. It’s not a new topic – it’s been discussed for as long as I can remember. The solution as I see it is for local clubs and groups to put on smaller competitions – even calling them something else. Here in Southern Pines we have a Frostbite Series that can be anything from dressage, to dressage and cones, to dressage, cones and a short Sec. E marathon, with classes for everything including Green as Grass. Activities such as The National Drive are attracting many people who can participate without the latest in CD vehicles.
      Regarding the conflict of interests, I think that is a tough nut to crack. We are such small community that everyone knows everyone else, and gets judged by them eventually. Even internationally. The judging pool keeps getting smaller and smaller. It is increasingly expensive to become a judge and then only a handful of the ones we have actually get much work. And in order for the Advanced competitors be able to qualify their horses and ponies, shows need to hire FEI officials, and at least one has to be foreign.
      Don’t know if my comments are helpful, but I did want to respond and thank you for taking the time.

  2. Gains and Aileen Hopkins

    Ann, this evidently failed to transmit to your personal e-mail. I do hope Weymouth is willing to consider some more reasonable options regarding Bill. I do think a decision to erect a temporary barn structure would make sense while the various and sundry experts grind their brains crazy on how best to utilize the historic structure. Cheers, Ed

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