Without the Coefficient

Without the Coefficient – A Different World Champion and 4* Winners

It’s time to talk about life without the dressage coefficient! The FEI voted yesterday to remove it effective January 2018. How would results have differed this decade without the coefficient?

Things get interesting when you look back over the last seasons and see that if there was no coefficient in that time, 452 horses that finished 2nd would have won, 73 that finished 3rd would have won, 10 that finished 4th would have won, and two would have won from 5th and 6th positions! I think those poor guys deserve their own article. The vast majority, 4,315 international winners to be precise, would have won anyway, even without the coefficient.

In all, 10.4% of international results since 2010 would have changed without the coefficient. (Did you guess correctly in our Twitter poll?)

Here’s where things get interesting. If you want a stat to remember and repeat: Six of the 49 four-stars since 2010 would have had a different winner, including the 2014 World Equestrian Games.

Kentucky 2017

Winner with the coefficient: Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST

Winner without the coefficient: Maxime Livio and Qalao des Mers

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST claimed their historic third consecutive victory at Kentucky this year, but without the coefficient we would have seen a different outcome. They added 1.6 cross country time penalties and one show jumping rail to their 37.1 dressage score to win on 42.7. Without the coefficient, their adjusted dressage score of 24.7 with additional penalties would have given them a final score of 30.3.

Maxime Livio and Qalao des Mers finished on their dressage score of 44.6 to place second. Without the coefficient, their adjusted dressage score of 29.7 would have seen them win. (If you think that’s a bummer, read on. Maxime ultimately missed out on TWO CCI4* wins because of the coefficient.)

Burghley 2016

Winner with the coefficient: Chris Burton and Nobilis 18

Winner without the coefficient: Jonelle Price and Classic Moet

Chris Burton and Nobilis 18 set the British CCI4* dressage record of 30.2, added 3.2 time penalties on cross country, and knocked four rails in show jumping to still take the win on 49.4. Without the coefficient, their adjusted dressage score of 20.1, plus the cross country and show jumping penalties, would have seen them complete on 39.3.

Jonelle Price and Classic Moet scored 48.5 in the first phase, blitzed around cross country with the fastest time to add 1.6 penalties, and pulled one rail in show jumping to finish third on 54.1. Without the coefficient, their dressage score would have adjusted to 32.3. After adding their penalties in the jumping phases, a final score of 37.9 would have given them the win.

Adelaide 2015

Winner with the coefficient: Shane Rose and CP Qualified

Winner without the coefficient: Shane Rose and Virgil

Shane Rose is the only rider on this list who wouldn’t have missed out on a win. He just would have swapped horses without the coefficient! Shane and CP Qualified added 3.2 cross country time penalties and one show jumping rail to their 42.1 dressage score to win on 49.3. Without the coefficient, their adjusted dressage score and additional penalties would have resulted in a final score of 35.3.

Shane and Virgil scored 50.8 in dressage and finished on it to place second. Without the coefficient, their adjusted dressage score of 33.9 would have given them the win, swapping places on the podium with stablemate CP Qualified.

WEG 2014

Winner with the coefficient: Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo

Winner without the coefficient: Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST

Without the coefficient we would have a different World Champion! Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo added 16.8 cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 35.2 to win individual gold on 52.0. Without the coefficient, their adjusted dressage score of 23.5 plus the time penalties would have given them a final score of 40.3.

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST scored 40.7 in the first phase and added 11.6 time penalties to win individual silver on 52.3. Without the coefficient, her adjusted dressage score of 27.1 plus the time penalties would have crowned the mare World Champion on 38.7 in her CCI4* debut as a 9-year-old.

Pau 2013

Winner with the coefficient: William Fox-Pitt and Seacookie TSF

Winner without the coefficient: Maxime Livio and Cathar de Gamel

William Fox-Pitt and Seacookie TSF added one show jumping rail to their dressage score of 41.5 to win Pau 2013 on a final score of 44.5. Without the coefficient, their adjusted dressage score of 27.7 plus the rail would have resulted in a final score of 31.4.

Maxime Livio and Cathar de Gamel added 1.2 cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 44.8 to finish in second place. Without the coefficient, their adjusted dressage score of 29.9 plus 1.2 cross country time penalties would have seen Maxime finish on 31.1 to win his CCI4* debut.

Badminton 2011

Winner with the coefficient: Mark Todd and NZB Land Vision

Winner without the coefficient: Sam Griffiths and Happy Times

Mark Todd and NZB Land Vision added 6.8 cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 36.8 to win on 42.8. Without the coefficient, Mark and NZB Land Division’s adjusted dressage score of 24.5, plus the time penalties, would have resulted in a final score of 31.3.

Sam Griffiths and Happy Times scored 46.3 in dressage and finished on it for fourth place. Without the coefficient, their adjusted dressage score of 30.9 would have given them the win thanks to delivering the elusive FOD.

Comments 6

  1. You forgot Pau this year. Gwendolyn Fer would have had 27.92 in the dressage and 3.2 in XC, for a total of 31.12. Sarah Bullimore would have had 28.03 in dressage plus 2.4 in XC for a total of 30.43. As it was, even with the coefficient, Fer won by .1 of a penalty.

  2. It would be really helpful if you could explain exactly what the coefficient is, how it is calculated and why it was applied in the first place ? Genuine ignoramus here !

    1. The coefficient is a weighting of the dressage score to give this phase more importance in eventing. It multiples the riders marks by 1.5, so their penalty is increased. The better you do, the less extra penalty you incur. In eventing, the rider’s good marks, a percent on a scale of 1-100, are subtracted from 100 to get a penalty score (ie, 70% = 30 points). The horse and rider team with the lowest number of points wins. There were numerous arguments for and against the coefficient, but I believe this move is largely to make eventing at the fei levels (like the WEGs or the Olympics) easier for lay-people to follow.

  3. Pingback: The Changing Face of Dressage in 2018

  4. I believe the Fairhill CCI 3* would have resulted in a tie between Will Coleman and Selena O’Hanlon with Will winning in a tie breaker due to making time on XC and Selena having 1.6 time penalties.

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