In this quick (3 minute) roundup of the highlights from yesterday’s WEG action, the commentator clearly states:
“New Zealand’s hopes of team medal success were dashed with a fall from Mark Todd and a retirement from Jock Paget.”
This is unfortunately incorrect and misleading, and is in my opinion an attempt to gloss over the facts and put blame on Jock, which is unfair.
By the time Jock started, the two previous team members, Sir Mark Todd and Tim Price in that order, had both failed to complete the course. Toddy had a desperately unlucky fall at the big step up at the final water, while Tim Price was flagged down by the Ground Jury when clear and 2 fences from home. We were not shown pictures of how the horse was going at that point, but apparently they judged that it was too tired to jump those last 2 fences and put a score on the board for New Zealand. A very tough call indeed.
For FEItv to totally ignore this inescapable fact and blame the next man out, Jock, for the NZ team hopes falling apart is therefore grossly unfair. It’s not as if he hasn’t had to deal with enough criticism over the past year, he should not be a scapegoat!
He was at that point riding purely as an individual, and there was no point at all in continuing after an early glance-off put paid to his individual chances. There are rumours that he will re-route to Burghley, for which Clifton Promise, like many WEG horses, was also entered.
I sincerely hope that FEI tv will correct this error.
Photos reproduced by kind permission of Patricia da Silva for HorseJunkiesUnited.