Just as I looked at the statistics for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup BE100 final I also like to look at the BE90 although not quite in as much detail.
For the 2017 final 123 riders qualified, 122 from regional finals and one from the Scottish BE90 championship.
There were 621 starters in the 21 regional final sections held across 12 events.
The lowest winning score was 19.8 at Homme House but this section also had the largest score spread between qualifying combinations with 4 qualifying spaces with an average gap of 2.1 penalties. In contrast the highest qualifying score was 32 by two combinations one at Weston Park, the other Oasby. Overall there were very few scores in the 30s, in fact only 19 of which 9 were from Broadway, coincidentally the section with the lowest average gap of only 0.15 penalties between each qualifier. This was achieved with the winner finishing on 29.5 down to 10th finishing on 31.
The overall average qualifying score is an incredibly low 27.07 whereas the modal average is 27.3. Both are very low and on a detailed view of the qualifiers the vast majority had double clears with the odd pole or time penalty here or there but the majority finished on their dressage scores. This contrasts with the BE100 final where the average qualifying score was 30.61.
The overall message is that you will not qualify for the BE90 Mitsubishi Motors Cup final unless you are riding a dressage diva double clear machine! To be fair most people already knew this but the facts and figures confirm as such. The regionals are normally very much an echo of the finals though, in 2016 every combination within the top 20 at the final were double clear. 34 combinations (32%) did though fault XC at the finals in 2016 (compared to 42/51% in the BE100 final).
the 2017 final will be interesting with some notable changes to the course including some potentially influential combinations near the end of the track but once again I do expect it to be somewhat of a dressage competition. I expect a similar number of combinations, so about a third to pick up XC penalties. Hopefully the SJ may be slightly more technical as ideally around half to two thirds should pick up penalties in this phase (only 46/43% faulted last year) and the time a bit tighter to ensure the dressage doesn’t carry the strongest influence. The time last year proved very easy to achieve with the majority who picked up faults doing so for going too fast!
Because of the very influential nature of the dressage I don’t look at form or have a watch list for the BE90 final as it will come down to who performs the best dressage test, and as basically all entrants are capable of a sub 30 score it really could be anyone’s competition.
Again, good luck to the 109 currently entered combinations, you are now only days away to galloping over the grass infront of Badminton house. Enjoy and savour the experience no matter how your event turns out, you truly have already produced a stellar performance just to reach the finals. I heard earlier that Oliver Townend believes it harder to qualify for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup final than the 4*, and in reality I agree!