Yep, good dressage is what you will win on. As in, really, REALLY good dressage. Last event I did, the lady who won my grade had a dressage score of 48, a rail in the stadium jumping, and time penalties XC, but still won because the girl who came second didn't have as low a dressage score, even though she jumped double clear.
edit; and too forward is a bad thing, because you CAN be eliminated for dangerous riding, and you get time penalties if you go too fast... it's not just being too slow you have to worry about! My horse is a lazy old slug, but put him on XC and you have to hold him back in the lower grades. He's done Prelim (we have pony club E grade, Intro 1&2, prelim, pre-nov, and then 1*-4***) and you have to be quick and accurate through XC at Prelim so he's used to hauling butt out there.... but E grade's times are fairly slow, I think you have to be going around 300-350m/minute. As opposed to (at 4***) a nearly-6km course in just over 10 minutes!
Last edited by blue eyed pony; 08-14-2012 at 04:01 AM.