COTH: What Should Be Most Important In A Freestyle: Artistic Or Technical Merits? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-09-2010, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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COTH: What Should Be Most Important In A Freestyle: Artistic Or Technical Merits?

So I was reading an interesting 'debate' article between COTH riders and I was curious to see your reactions if anyone else had read it.

It's about the Fuego XII & Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz during the WEG GrandPrixFreestyle.

Here is the test:



I was absolutely blown away by the ride. As far as accuracy of the movements I couldn't tell you but he looked so relaxed and happy to be out there. He placed 5th I believe. Here are some exerpts from the article:
What Should Be Most Important In A Freestyle: Artistic Or Technical Merits? | The Chronicle of the Horse


"Fuego’s overall score was announced, an 81.45 percent that would eventually place him fifth, there were boos all around"

" She said Fuego had a few weaker movements that brought down his score. "

"Since freestyles were first included at the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The Hague, the Netherlands, there’s been debate over technical versus artistic merits, and Fuego brought that debate to light again. Should the judges have been influenced by the crowd’s warm reception of Fuego and Diaz? Many people probably left the WEG thinking only of that ride—shouldn’t that have made them the winners?

Another O-level judge, Axel Steiner, says no. If the technical aspects of the tests are compromised from the artistic, we may find ourselves looking at a version of riding that scarcely resembles true dressage"

"“I think the freestyle has done a tremendous amount for the sport. The only time it’s sold out is for the freestyle. But we definitely have to be careful that we do not let it turn into circusy-type performances, and that’s why we’re rather strict to keep the technical in check. That’s why you can only do a double pirouette, for instance, and no above the ground exercises are allowed. Movements are shown both ways, and the walk is shown, to keep it grounded in the technical area."


There is much more info on the article I linked to.

So what do you guys think?
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-09-2010, 06:54 PM
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Technical always must trump artistic marks. Were we to only mark the freestyle on artistic marks, it would be called trick riding not dressage.
I agree wholeheartedly with Axel Steiner.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-09-2010, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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I agree Anabel.

I don't have a trained enough eye to notice the difference in technicality between the top 5 horses, but the obvious lack of a halt at the end I can see would drop your score drastically

Would he have been marked down for doing the tempi changes and passage one handed?
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-09-2010, 08:13 PM
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I was at that event. That pair brought down the house that night. While not technically the best, they were by far the most entertaining. I was definitely doing my share of booing!

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-10-2010, 06:22 AM
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I agree with Anebel. You absolutely have to have technical merit coming first.

Mods, grant me the serenity to see the opinions I cannot change, courage to change the ones that should change, and the wisdom to spot the trolls.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-10-2010, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove View Post
I agree Anabel.

I don't have a trained enough eye to notice the difference in technicality between the top 5 horses, but the obvious lack of a halt at the end I can see would drop your score drastically

Would he have been marked down for doing the tempi changes and passage one handed?
No he would not have been marked down for riding one handed, however, if riding the movements one handed reduced the quality of them, they would be scored down. This one handed thing used to be over. I haven't seen it since the 90s when it was "fashionable"... >.<

In the FEI freestyle tests they added in a score for the entrance and final salute. So if he had a good entrance worth an "8" and then the horse didn't halt he would get a "4" and overall it would work out to a "6" on the movement. Unless you get a zero, not one movement is going to contribute to you either winning or placing fifth. The technical marks dictate how high the artistic marks can be (ie if the technical side of the score sheet is a 70%, the artistic side can be no higher than 70%). So if the horse is very good technically, he can achieve a very high score on both sides, but if the freestyle is crap he might get beaten by another horse who is not as good technically, but has a good freestyle.
There is room for artistic marks to "trump" a very bad freestyle, but it is limited. As good as Fuego's freestyle was, he is not technically to the point of medalling yet. Maybe if Toto had an Eminem freestyle he wouldn't have won...
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-10-2010, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
As good as Fuego's freestyle was, he is not technically to the point of medalling yet. Maybe if Toto had an Eminem freestyle he wouldn't have won...
I saw technical errors that ranged from mild to not good at all and THAT was his downfall.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-10-2010, 06:30 PM
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Yes, it was not the most technically correct test, but this is freestyle. Perhaps they should consider putting more weight on artistic impression. I can see where that may open the door for circus tricks, but they already have a zillion technical tests for that purpose, aren't there.

That being said, with all this emphasis on correct technical execution, how is that the horse who broke into the canter at the end of his extended trot & stopped cold half way through his piaffe received the highest score? People were fuming about that. Totilas had a nice performance, but two glaring mistakes. I just don't get it.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-10-2010, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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That makes a lot of sense, thanks Anabel. I've been rewatching it trying to spot out the other errors just for my own education. Another thing I noticed with him is that his Piaffe seemed off. This could just be the dressage newb in me though. He seemed to have a lot of action in the front legs and not as much power coming from the rear as I saw when watching Totilas.

For a good piaffe, one of the factors I thought I heard someone on here mentioning was that the rear and fore legs would be even in height. Is this correct or did I miss something there too.

Sorry for all the questions. I'll never be at this stage of riding in dressage but I'd like to be able to pick up on some of the things they were talking about and scoring for in these tests.

ETA: Ive also never seen a horse with such a... extended canter across the diagonal like I saw with Fuego. Is that more common to see than I think?
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-11-2010, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove View Post
For a good piaffe, one of the factors I thought I heard someone on here mentioning was that the rear and fore legs would be even in height. Is this correct or did I miss something there too.
Actually to be technically correct the forelegs should rise about halfway up the cannon bone of the other foreleg.

The rear leg should rise up to just above the fetlocks of the opposite leg.

Two of the major faults of Fuego are the passage and the "hovering" of the lifted front legs and the canter pirouettes were just circles and collection was severely lost.

Quote:
ETA: Ive also never seen a horse with such a... extended canter across the diagonal like I saw with Fuego. Is that more common to see than I think?
Not much extension actually but large sweeping lift of the front legs and there was no gaining of ground with the rear legs.
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