03-17-2011, 06:30 PM
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Here's my experience at the lower levels of eventing (folks who have competed more recently than I have, please chime in.)
At Training, Novice and below, the vast majority of competitors can jump the jumps. There are no terribly tricky combinations, "bogey" or "looky" fences and the time limits are not terribly tight. So 70% percent or so of your division gets around XC and stadium without penalty or minor time penalties. That means your placement in the ribbons depends heavily on your dressage score.
So if I were going out shopping for a young prospect to bring along, I would want one that's capable of doing well on the dressage phase. Eventing a horse at the lower levels that can't post a decent dressage score is kind of depressing, even if you're brilliant xc and stadium, you end up waiting for someone else to make a mistake so you can move up into the ribbons. It's not that winning is everything, there's a lot of joy in simply bringing a horse along to that level, but don't you want to start out on a level playing field with the other competitors?
So if you're going to put three years into a horse before competing him, why not start out with something with more raw potential to be successful?
If you just like this guy because you think he's appealling and you like his color, well, then, go ahead. He might very well make a nice all around local horse. However, he is not what I would consider an eventing prospect.
ETA: There is no "grand prix" in eventing. There is in dressage and show jumping, not eventing. After Advanced, you have the International levels, where events are rated by *s, one, two, three and 4* events. The Olympics are a 3 star, Badmintion and Rolex are 4 stars.