Wednesday, 13 October 2010

London 2012: Cross Country Course - London Bridge Is Falling Down

London Bridge | Arizona
London, like most European cities, is built on a major river estuary, and therefore has plenty of bridges. One of the most famous of these bridges is London Bridge, and Yes, this time I do mean the one we sold to the Americans for their desert retreat, and it's predecessor, immortalised in the nursery rhyme. Anyone who knows London will have heard "London Bridge is falling down, falling down...." .

The concept of the broken/unfinished bridge is not new, and I have to say, is one of my favourites to jump, as they can be a bit "jump into mid air" if constructed properly, providing a real "yippee" moment. A first glance of my diagram and you're probably thinking "that's pretty straightforward", well yes and no.

London Bridge Has Fallen Down
First of all the "A" part of the bridge is rising ground to an upright 'road closed' element. Maximum height, and maximum drop into the water. "B" is a relatively straightforward stone plinth no more than 1m high, but there are only two strides to it from "A". "C" is maximum step out bouncing over "D" another 'road closed' barrier. These 'step up and bounce' fences can mislead riders into over attacking the fence, which leads to the horse usually stopping dead in front of "D", because they forced either a long take off or chipping in a short stride which just adds 'wheelspin' instead of a well judged bounce. So whilst straightforward to look at and walk, each element needs to be positively ridden with balance, not the easiest of things when trying all of this through a water complex. Straightforward?, Yes, but also Big, Bold & Brave. Frangible Pins will make the "A" and "D" elements as safe as can be. This fence combination would sit somewhere in the middle third of the course probably, and when you finally see how this relates to the other fences around it you'll have a moment of clarity. This will be a great fence for the photographers. Because this is such a bold fence I probably would provide an alternative, but as you'd expect, it will require quite a detour across another bridge.

More fences to come.....

If you're wondering what this post is all about see:

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