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MTCC Virtual Combined Test


2020/07/04


Middle Tennessee Carriage Club (MTCC) hosted a Virtual Combined Test June 12-20, 2020. Competition was based on submitted videos of dressage and cones tests, and the deadline for video submissions was June 20. Drivers were scored on their dressage test, cones balls penalties and cones times penalties. Judge was Andy Marcoux.

MTCC President Kate Bushman wrote, “We had nine adventurous drivers from three different states participate in our foray into virtual carriage competitions.  We usually hold a ‘in person’ combined driving trial or combined test in the spring, to help our members tune up for the show season.  The COVID-19 situation made it unrealistic for a live event, so we got creative.  We built on the learnings of the Greystone Dressage virtual shows, as far as suggestions for video capture and posting to YouTube.  But we wanted to add the cones element of a real combined test.  Since our drivers had already laid out a 40m x 80m ring for their driven dressage tests, we created a cones course that placed a pair of cones at each dressage letter, and then mapped a fixed course.  We asked everyone to be on their honor to video just their first and second runs through the cones course, and we captured their time based on the video clock, and counted the numbers of balls down.  While not an absolutely, exactly-the-same course for all people, it was pretty close. 

“Our dressage judge, Andy Marcoux, an American Dressage Society recorded judge, and renowned driving clinician from Mansfield, MA, watched the videos and dictated his scores and comments over the phone.  He enjoyed seeing the variety of entries, and provided a group comment to all competitors:

It was my pleasure to judge your entries. Broadly speaking there are a few comments that came up on many people’s tests. It’s tempting to feel like “letter perfect dressage” should be something similar to a Marine Corps. Drill Team with sharp turns and snappy movement. That is not the case. Dressage should be thought of as flowing movement. Think more along the lines of ribbon gymnastics. The gymnast exhibits every bit of energy and precision as the found in the drill team, but all of the movements are connected through continuous flowing lines of energy. 

Take your time in your transitions, allowing your horse or pony to rebalance. Training level competitors are obliged to make transitions to and from the halt through the walk. Preliminary level competitors are allowed to use the walk for transitions as well. 

By combining the dressage penalty scores, and the cones penalties, we were able to clearly place the nine competitors in four divisions.”

Results:

In the Training Single Pony division, Carol Lorenc and Sister  (Jamestown, TN) won with a total of 99.603 penalty points. Second was Rebecca Jones driving Obi with 105.71 penalty points.

In the Training Single Horse division, Jane Hoffman (College Grove, TN) and N’Co The Navigator were Champions with 53.32 penalty points. Claire Root and Canton’s By Design were Reserve Champion with 74.656 penalty points. Wilbur Sensing and Blue Ray were third with 87.379 penalty points.

In the Preliminary Single Pony division, MB Dixon (Allison Park, PA) driving Don’t Call Me Bob were Champions with 64.802 penalty points. Ardeth Obenauf placed second with Sybil on 76.642 penalty points.

In the Preliminary Single Horse division, Suzanne Fuller (Nashville, TN) drove Bliss WH to the Championship with 66.824 penalty points. Earl Burkett and Easton were second with 79.274 penalty points.

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