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Olympic Showjumping - why is the team so old????

(66 Posts)
cherryminx Fri 19-Aug-16 21:30:50

Am I the only person to think it is a bit odd that our Olympic showjumping team is composed mainly of people who were around when I was a teenager? (I am old - almost as old as most of the people in the team).

Surely there are some new young show jumping talents out there? Is some kind of show jumping cartel that means you can only be in the team if you are married into a show jumping royal family as in a Jilly Cooper book?

Plus they didn't even get a team medal.

ABloodyDifficultWoman Fri 19-Aug-16 21:34:42

How old is 'old' in your book?

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Fri 19-Aug-16 21:41:59

Didn't Skelton get a gold?

cherryminx Fri 19-Aug-16 22:01:10

Nick got gold in individual but what about the team? Look at dressage - there they've got young new people.

Its not so much about age - more about the fact that there is no one new in the team. The team has been the same old same old since I was a teenager and I am about the same age as Nick and co.

It just feels to me like they aren't doing anything to encourage new young talent. Just hoovering up all the glory for themselves.

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe a horsey person in the know can come along and put me right. (I used to be v horsey but am not so much any more)

TheSpottedZebra Fri 19-Aug-16 22:04:33

Maybe they're just the best at what they do?
It's not a sport that requires explosive strength after all - more core strength and control and discipline.

hefzi Fri 19-Aug-16 22:05:00

Gosh, that's a bit of an inflammatory post, OP!

It's also about the pairings - you and your horse are put onto the team, not either or: so it depends on who is doing well in the running up to listing etc Obviously, those who are performing already at a top international level are more likely to have access to the better horses - but that's not to say that younger people are excluded: it's just the way it worked out this time.

Personally, I think it's refreshing to see that people can be elite athletes still in middle age, but perhaps I'm in the minority!

Madeyemoodysmum Fri 19-Aug-16 22:06:15

If they are the best then they are the best. Experience in this sport and with your horse counts as much as fitness I imagine.

BolshierAryaStark Fri 19-Aug-16 22:08:38

Why does it matter? They have done extremely well, their age is irrelevant.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Fri 19-Aug-16 22:11:13

He might be 'old' in your book but he still won the gold medal, top dog!

Poppiesway Fri 19-Aug-16 22:12:32

I did wonder that too. I've grown up watching nick Skelton, the whitakers, even mark Todd from NZ is still there. I'm 39 and still my child hood heroes are competing.
I don't know any new names coming through.. Maybe new names just don't jump out at us now as were familiar with the older ones?
Although they're still winning so we can't complain can we..

NigellasGuest Fri 19-Aug-16 22:14:57

Bring back David Broome, I say. And Eddie Macken for Ireland. Used to LOVE him.

winewolfhowls Fri 19-Aug-16 22:15:41

Perhaps it's the expense of breeding / affording a top horse that restricts new entrants to the sport?

Gabilan Fri 19-Aug-16 22:19:00

I'm not a fan of showjumping but Skelton has justified the selectors' decision. I think the younger show jumpers are coming through but the problem with the equestrian sports is that you have to have good horses as well as being a good rider yourself. Younger riders might not have access to the same string of horses but may be dependent on one or two top horses and if they're off colour/ injured/ having a horsey moment then the rider is stuffed.

The dressage team are younger but both Spencer Wilton and Carl Hester are in their 40s and have been competing at top level for decades.

Gabilan Fri 19-Aug-16 22:21:44

Perhaps it's the expense of breeding / affording a top horse that restricts new entrants to the sport?

Riders don't often own the horses - but yes I think access to the top horses is relevant. You're talking about millions of pounds in some cases and rich owners may be more likely to back older, more established riders.

MiniCooperLover Fri 19-Aug-16 22:23:14

It's about experience and experience takes time to achieve!

Idefix Fri 19-Aug-16 22:23:49

What's wrong with 'old' op? My dd has been literally enthralled I have been subjected to regular updates grin the riders ages haven't been a barrier to dds enjoyment or their amazing results.

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Fri 19-Aug-16 22:24:47

Bolt is almost 30!!

As a pp said, how old is old to you op??

GemmaB78 Fri 19-Aug-16 22:26:14

Ben Maher is 33

Mouseinahole Fri 19-Aug-16 22:26:29

Pat Smythe
Marion Mold with little Stroller
The magic of Milton
David Broome.....

ColdTeaAgain Fri 19-Aug-16 22:28:03

Ben Maher is 33. Came 25th.

Nick Skelton is 58. Won gold.

The older riders will have to retire eventually but if they are still excelling then why should they make way for younger riders? They will get their day in time if they have what it takes.

NigellasGuest Fri 19-Aug-16 22:29:38

Boomerang!! 🏇🐎

NoTractorsAtTheTable Fri 19-Aug-16 22:30:14

Scott Brash discounted himself a while ago, or else he'd probably have gone. A Whitaker is normally a safe enough bet, you can't really blame the selectors for choosing John and Michael.

Who else would you have liked to see OP?

RustyBear Fri 19-Aug-16 22:31:51

Ben Maher is only 33

cherryminx Fri 19-Aug-16 22:32:43

I think Gabilan is on the same wavelength as me. Fine to have old riders but my point is more about who is going to take over from them? If its just about the investors backing the reliable old stalwarts, what happens when the stalwarts are no more? And what is there to encourage young people into the sport?

In racing there are plenty of older jockeys but there is an established route for young jockeys to come through and get their chances.

Gabilan Fri 19-Aug-16 22:33:02

The reserve is 20, Maher 33 and the other 3 range between 56 and 61 so in fairness to the OP, it's an unusually old team for an Olympic event. But the courses were big, technical and tricky so for Skelton at least the extra experience paid off.

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