Sam Watson and Horseware Ardagh Highlight at the 2018 WEGCredit : Scoopdyga
Thursday 14 February - 16h59 | Ian Clayton
That’s the question asked by World No.11 eventing rider Sam Watson of Ireland, co-founder of the sports data and technology company EquiRatings and one of Grand Prix’s 50 influential people in the equestrian world in 2018, in a recent column on his business’ web site.
Watson, who won a Team silver medal at last September’s FEI World Equestrian Games with the 15-year-old gelding Horseware Ardagh Highlight, says the three-part sport – which EquiRatings has had a major influence on through its analysis system of competitor risk at different levels – has to reflect on its future direction, with a “clear understanding of why” it might evolve in certain ways. In his opinion piece, the rider and data expert further argues that currently, for example, standards are not clear internationally on such issues as scoring and the weighting of the different phases of competition (dressage, jumping, cross-country). He comes down in favour of more testing of speed and intensity, and also favours a clear distinction between short-format and long-format eventing. Watson says that in any case all of these questions entail some necessary soul-searching about the sport's nature which could be facilitated if its global objectives are clarified. To read Sam Watson's article, see here.
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