|Hyde Park | The London Alternative|
If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know that Greenwich Park isn’t my preferred location for holding the London 2012 Olympic 3 Day Event. Whilst I believe Windsor Great Park is the most suitable location, I really like the idea of holding the event in the centre of London, and Hyde Park I think provides a very popular location, it’s a real “peoples’ park”, where numerous outdoor events are held each year, from demonstrations to ‘Proms In The Park’. In case you are interested in the history of the park, rather than regurgitate anything, here’s the park’s wikipedia entry. I have some fond memories of walking through the park from Chelsea to Mayfair on my way to work some years ago, during the summer months and watching the cavalry horses out on exercise.
It’s a very interesting challenge for the cross country course designer. As the “Volunteer Course Designer” let me walk you through my cross country course. Whilst I haven’t finished all of the fences, the majority of significant fences are now fleshed out and the track is pretty much fixed. I am still in two minds as to where to put the main area, over by Park Lane out of the way or between Fences 8 & 9. If it goes over by fence 8 I can foresee some great hospitality opportunities, with private boxes that over look fence 8 and few others, plus the arena.
|Hyde Park Course Map | My Preferred “London” Venue For The 2012 Olympic 3-Day-Event|
Hyde Park is over 600 acres of relatively level, mixed parkland. The course starts and finishes down beside Rotten Row near the southern perimeter of the park, where there are some ideal spots for cross country warm up. The course heads west, towards Kensington Palace, and then clockwise around Hyde Park for 6400m (Optimum Time 11mins 14secs). With relatively level ground throughout the course this sets quite a challenge to design a course that will be ‘time influential’, but [I believe] provides an opportunity to raise the level of difficultly and effort without compromising safety. I have been mindful not to use too many tight turns to slow up or expend energy, as I prefer to see a nice flowing course and engergy used for jumping. By the time I’ve finished there should be 40-44 jumping efforts on course.
Note: Like everything in life, this is subject to change, so as I finish some of the final fences I may have a little shuffle around. Click on fence names to see a full description and diagram.
1: The Gun Carriages:
Eventing all started as a military exercise for finding and preparing horses for army life and warfare, and so we start with a straightforward leap over two artillery guns and a stack of shells. Aptly the course also starts outside the Hyde Park Barracks.
2: The Black Cabs:
London is synonymous with various transportation icons, The London black cab or hackney carriage being one of these. Crossing over Exhibition Road requires a decent leap over the bonnets of two black cabs parked up.
3 A&B: The Airport:
A relatively simple related distance, and an early opportunity to get the horses set up for the rest of the course.
4 A&B & 5: Ebbsfleet Station:
There’s a reasonable gallop between the previous fence and this one, and with a nice long, slow righthand bend, it could be easy to become complacent letting the horse bowl along on its forehand, only to approach the first angled train, only to run out or misjudge the stride.
6: Ditch & Brush:
7A & B: Peter Pan Pirate Ships
8 A, B, C, D: London Bridge:
See Full Description. This has a great viewing platform for spectators in the form of the Italian Garden, at one end of the Serpentine.
9: The Tube Train
A fun and interactive ‘let-up’ fence
10: The Route Master
The iconic, open backed, red london bus. A good ‘let-up’ fence.
11-14: The Maze
Based around probably the most famous garden maze there is, at Hampton Court
15: Coming Soon
16: Coming Soon
17 ABCDEF: The Olympic Cascade
A series of cascading pools that will eventually make a fabulous legacy feature up by speakers corner.
18: The Reformers’ Tree
A five part bounce combination involving a bank.
19 ABC & 20: The Dry Dock:
A relatively straightforward combination, like a sunken road, with some assistance for the tiring horse.
21: Coming Soon
22: The Apiary
One of the last fence combinations on course set to test agility and control.
23: Coming Soon
24: Tower Bridge
One of the most iconic bridges in the world and the grand finale…
I will update this post as I add new fences