Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove
I completely understand what you are saying Skyhuntress and agree. Judges in all disciplines are rewarding less than stellar riding and horsemanship.
However, to play the devils advocate, you could say that the problem with her is that she is willing to use methods that may be considered cruel in order to win.
As far as her reining, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I guess my only problem (I'm not a reiner and couldn't tell you if she is riding correctly for the discipline) is that she seemed to get put up against other great reiners and is a mini-celebrity in the sport without really earning her spurs so to speak. I'm not positive though and could be completely wrong about her in regards to reining. As far as I could find, she has only recently started reining...
Again, correct me if I am wrong however watching this video as well as a few others, I don't really see a pair that should be riding with other top reiners. YouTube - Anky Van Grunsven Reining
She's actually quite messy! Pivots off; circles off, turns off... I'd agree that she doesn't belong up there (with the other pros), but since she's a dressage champ I think her "celebrity" could have easily "bought" her into the top levels. I couldn't even really tell the difference between her slow and fast circles. Her seat bugs me too... but then, I know she's a tried and true English rider, and I am very Western, haha... I know there are a ton of differences between the two but even in the dressage stuff I wasn't fond of her actual RIDING. Her horse, amazing. But her riding didn't look that smooth to me, and it definitely is more apparent here.
Not saying I'm all that great myself, just what it looked like to me...
Edit: I just watched the beginning of the video again and it really actually incensed me. She's really an amateur at reining. Not the quality I would have expected from a rider of her caliber, and by caliber I mean the level she's riding at in her new discipline, not the level she's achieved in other disciplines.
Edit again, haha: Though I suppose it's kind of like when Paris Hilton recorded an album, to use that reference again... Everyone indulged her and played it on the radio even though it was kind of sucky, because she was famous for another reason.