In 2017 you will hear us talking a lot more about FODs and FOD Rates. What we are talking about is Finishing On Your Dressage Score.
We have talked at length in the past about dressage and the effect of the multiplier. While it is crucial to get off to a good start — like Chris Burton at Burghley — not adding any penalties to that dressage mark is becoming a more useful indicator of success. Let’s take a look at the country that flew under the radar a bit before the Olympics …
Across all international levels in 2016, French riders finished on their dressage scores more frequently than any other nation — and it wasn’t close. To make sure we weren’t being skewed by the minnows, we looked at countries with more than 1,000 international runs. From those, French riders finished on their dressage scores 14.2% of the time, 5% better than next best Team GB.
The USA, Germany and Australia clock in with the next best percentages of finishing on their dressage scores, with nearly an 8-point spread between France and the Aussies.
While the French were 5% better at finishing on their dressage score, they flexed their muscles even more when we look specifically at cross country. If we examine the countries with more than 1,000 international runs, French riders finished clear and inside the optimum 38.5% of the time, a full 12% better than next best USA.
Team GB, Germany and Australia also appear in the top five list of countries with the best clear and inside the time rates for 2016. France once again more than doubled Australia’s rate in this category.
So what can we learn from the new Olympic champions? While low dressage scores are important, no French riders appeared on our list of the 10 best dressage scores of 2016. Watch out for that FOD Rate you are going to hear us talking about — this is where France consistently proved dominant during the year, and they did alright in Rio.
Stay tuned to EquiRatings as we continue to analyze the top trends of 2016.