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Last-Jump-itis

Nothing is more heartbreaking in an otherwise clear jumping round than to have the last fence down. Top young competitor Kara Chad of Calgary, AB, explains why it happens so often, and how to prevent it. Although the height and placement of the last fence varies for each course, there always seems to be an intimidating factor about it, especially if you are on your way to a clear round! It is the course designer’s last opportunity to catch both the horse and rider at their most fatigued point on course. There are many techniques that the course designer can use for the last fence that increase its level of difficulty: they can set a huge, wide, square and scary-looking oxer that can intimidate both the horse and rider, or they can use an extremely tall, flimsy and delicate vertical that requires tremendous intelligence from the horse to jump clear.…

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