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View Full Version : Beg. Novice and Novice affordability



denny
Jan. 18, 2008, 08:39 AM
Let`s say you are on the USEA Board, and you could change anything you wanted to about these 2 lower level divisions, either for the sake of simplicity or affordability, or anything else.
For example, what about the dress code? Should it remain fairly formal, or would you allow a greater degree of informality, chaps, no jackets, that sort of thing?
What about drug testing, would you waive that to save the money, or is that crucial to the fairness aspects?
What about licensed tds? Would you have them, or accept possibly less expertise for the sake of lower entry fees?
What about licensed dressage judges, same reasons as above?
What about medical staff on grounds for all 3 phases?

The reason I ask is because unrecognized events can avoid most of these expenses, (except the on grounds EMT) and pass the savings along to the competitors.
So are expenses getting to be so important to our riders that the USEA might consider easing some of the legislation at the 2 lower levels, or are you happy with what we now have?
Obviously this is only a hypothetical exercise, but it may prove important to the USEA in the future if expenses continue to escalate.

53
Jan. 18, 2008, 08:54 AM
off the top of my head:

I would do away with drug testing. I was drug tested (well, Spy was) at 5 Points in Sept, which made me laugh, in my Noice division, no threat to the leaders due to a mistake in dressage.

I think we need to keep the dress code at the recognized events, as well, as the medical and technical expertise.

The only thing I might also agree to would be the dressage. I hesitate here though because I know that BN and N are usually won on the dressage (I say usually because sometimes crazy things happen when BN and N riders and horses go over fences). I also know how much work it is for a dressage judge to get their licenses and the work that goes into those programs. I think keeping licensed judges will continue to keep the standards high and maintain continuity. However, there are a lot of really good non-licensed 'judges' who have the same eye and knowledge base as the licensed judges. So I waffle here because I believe we should support the judges programs, but at the same time, I do see how a similar level of judging could be offered at a lower expense.

pinkngreen
Jan. 18, 2008, 08:56 AM
What about licensed tds? Would you have them, or accept possibly less expertise for the sake of lower entry fees?
What about licensed dressage judges, same reasons as above?
I would not want to get rid of licensed TDs or have unlicensed dressage judges for the sake of lower fees.

There are some schooling shows I avoid because I know the people that run them can't design a course to save their lives, but I am willing to go to their recognized shows because I know a knowledgeable TD will be there to make sure my horse and I have every chance of having a good safe experience.

If I am going to a recognized event I want my dressage judge licensed because if I am looking to move up I want to make sure I am on par with my training.

I'll admit I save my money for recognized shows and skip many schooling shows because I want to go for quality over quantity. If that means I get to run a few less cross-country courses in a year I'm fine with that. But I'm lucky to have plenty of past experience and don't feel the need to go to schooling shows to help get my show nerves evened out. If I were less experienced I might have a different take on this.

Auburn
Jan. 18, 2008, 09:09 AM
Having come from NE Ohio, where they now have a mini-event series which has ten events, I know that they are much more cost effective. I spent my first year of BN doing only the mini-events.

Would I like for the BN/N levels to cost less at recognized events? Absolutely.

However, our levels tend to be looked down upon anyway, so would making them more affordable reduce our clout even more?

Maybe someone could ask Jackie F. Smith how she can afford to run her BN/N levels so much cheaper, than any of the other events in Area 8? Her events are very affordable ($105 for BN/N), especially when compared to the ones in Southern Ohio and Kentucky. Her stabling is more cost effective and she gives initial bedding. (It is so nice not to have to haul 4 bales of shavings, in addition to everything else!) Why are the other events so much more expensive? Does it cost that much to rent the KHP? Why is Rolex so inexpensive ($100 entry)? Why do they only pay $30 per stall/day? I am not dissing Rolex, but just curious?

Is drug testing warrented at those levels? Maybe not.

Attire is part of the tradition and should remain.

The medical staff for x-country is imperative, although they do not have them at most of the Mini-events in NE Ohio. (My husband, who is an EMT, had to help a girl with a compound fracture of the femur, while the ambulance was being called.) Since they would be on site for the upper levels, then it should not cost that much more to retain them for the BN/N.

I really would appreciate any financial help, but don't know from where it could be taken. Auburn

AKB
Jan. 18, 2008, 09:13 AM
I would waive the drug testing for pre-novice. My feeling is that some of the old guys who are packing people around pre-novice need their bute to be comfortable and safe. Yes, the owners could figure out how much bute is legal, but generally they figure it is easier to leave the old guy off his bute, even if it means he is a little stiff and sore.

I would also relax the dress requirements for prenovice. A lot of people who are just starting out don't have the clothing and therefore don't compete as early as they should. Fortunately, in our area, we have good unrecognized competitions so there are some opportunities to compete before buying a jacket and nice boots.

Licensed dressage judges and TDs are important. TDs are necessary for the safety of the sport because many prenovice competitors will not recognize a safety problem and bring it to the attention of the competition organizers. Licensed dressage judges are also important because they help the competitor figure out what is needed before moving up.

evntr06
Jan. 18, 2008, 09:26 AM
Yes, there is certain "promise" of quality when you have licenced officials at the show and I would not want to compromise it. I like knowing that the courses will be safe and inviting, and not dangerous for horses/riders at the lower level, and that there is a medical assistance is awailable for me and my horse. The entry fees are high but not prohibitive. I pick and choose HTs and will maybe do only one or two a year depending on the budget, and I would use schooling Combined Tests for schooling shows to "get the nerves out" and get showing experience (for me).

Where I think the money could be "saved" is by lowering annual USEA fees for BN/N competing members, and for BN level lowering or not requiring non-member fee. Of course USEA may not agree with that as it will lower their income. :)

Also, when the show is cancelled for any reason, majority of shows do not refund any portion of the entry fee which I think is unfair. I do understand that they have to spend some of it before the day of the show, but I doubt that they spend 100% of it. Both times it happened to me, I agreed with official's decision to cancel the show as the footing became unsafe, however, it made me not being able to participage in ANY SHOW that season because of money. I am sure for people who can afford more shows per season it is not such a big deal, but it is hard to take a $200 hit and not get ANY of it back.

thumbsontop
Jan. 18, 2008, 09:31 AM
Keep it the same. I don't really feel like it's cost prohibitive. I pay $60-$80 for a combined test. Another $50+ to get cross country and "real" judges is well worth it.

Drug testing could probably go away.

melodiousaphony
Jan. 18, 2008, 09:50 AM
As a BN/N competitor, though I'm not working on the world's biggest budget, I would keep it the same.

If I want to go to a less formal event, there are quite a few in my area that are run on the grounds of recognized events so I can trust their course design (Valinor, where I board, Apple Knoll Farm, to name a few). There are also some within reasonable driving distance if stabling is provided (not sure since I have yet to go to any that would require stabling and are not recognized) put on by farms and trainers that I think have more than enough experience in eventing to provide a safe, enjoyable experience ::cough:: Denny ::cough::.
But that is, apparently, the joy of eventing in Area I. I found the same to be true when I was starting off in Area II. In fact, I didn't even consider going to recognized events when I lived in MD because (1) my mare and I weren't ready and (2) there were many well run schooling options.

When I go to a recognized event it is to experience what I need to experience at a lower level to be prepared for the upper levels. I'd rather be faced with remembering technical rules, dress code, and so on when I am going 2'7"/2'11" and doing a basic w/t/c dressage test. That way I can establish my event day routine off the bat without having the added pressure of trying to "forget" the less formal rules of BN/N when I get to training.

It's certainly a valid thing to consider, but I like the official feel of a recognized event. It makes me that much more aware of every detail.

[I think you can wear smooth half chaps AKA "leather pieces" or some such designation with matching boots in USEA competitions these days.]

NMK
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:29 AM
I would NOT do away with the drug testing. Just to save that one horse/rider team that may decide to be "over the limit" because they know they won't get tested...and then something goes wrong.

It just invites trouble. Leave the sport clean in sanctioned events.

Nancy

flyingchange
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:43 AM
The most prohibitive expense for me in entering events is stabling when the events are run over more than one day. To keep costs down, if HTs running BN and N could please try to hold all 3 phases on one day, it would be VERY helpful in terms of expense.

I think getting rid of drug testing at BN and N is also a GOOD idea. Complete waste of money and time.

FlightCheck
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:45 AM
Interesting thoughts.

I would probably do away with the drug testing, but if I want a more casual approach, I go to schooling shows.

I show recognized FOR those reasons: licensed judges and TD's, medical suppport, etc. It's a SHOW, and I enjoy presenting my horse and myself in "formal" attire. I want to get a dressage score from a licensed judge, and to have a TD who hopefully knows the rules better than I do.

JHMO

Saskatoonian
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:46 AM
I would not change any of these things.

Eventing is already a great bargain! Think it's not? Talk to some dressage or hunter people, and they don't even have XC courses!! Anyone who thinks it's too costly is not someone I want eventing. Reducing the cost will attract them. You know the people - those for whom lessons and coaching are too expensive. I do not want to be in the warm up with them, and do not wish them on the organizers. These are the same people who cheap out on the entry and then have a complete fit when an EMT isn't there within 5 seconds of the time they plinked off on XC. They think they should enter at T because 2'11" is too small.

There are unrecognized events I love and where I'll start my new guy, because they have more flexibility and are more low key than recognized events. But they provide a stage in schooling, not a competition. And they're run by experienced organizers on recognized courses, and that's critical to me.

EventerAgain
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:48 AM
This is an interesting question.

Keep the dress code!! Its a wonderful tradition, I actually look decent in my pictures, it keeps standards high (both for riders AND horses: if riders are just slapping on chaps and a t-shirt then I'll venture to say the saddle is probably dirty, the horses aren't spic and span, etc. When I have to dress up I feel good polishing the tack and the horse too) In the grand scheme of keeping/feeding/training/tacking up/trailering a horse, even for us on a shoestring...you can have the entire formal getup. Sure its not all full-seat or perfectly tailored, but it does just fine from a distance!

Drug testing probably not necessary. Licensed TD's and judges...please keep them!

I very much appreciate the increased flexibility in the last few years (at least in Area VII) with lots of alternatives (event derbies, unrecognized one-days) to recognized events. I am able to afford only 2 or 3 recognized "big" events a year, but I fill in with the unrecognized alternatives and have a fantastic summer. :cool:

SparklePlenty
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:53 AM
As someone who is going to start showing at reg.BN this season i like the fact that it has that "offical" feeling to it. I mean i will be paying more to show therefore i expect more. Around here it's about 80bucks for an unrec. HT, so to be paying 40bucks more i'm ok with that.

What is dislike is the fact i feel like people look down upon the lower levels like BN/N and think that the things that are important at the upper levels are not as important to us down below. Of course i'd prefer to have a licensed dressage judge.. who wouldn't? But i'm worried that since BN is filled with those horses that pack around the little kids and need "bute" (as said by someone earlier) that the rules should be changed for them. (i.e. no drug testing) Why? My mare and i work really hard to compete at this level and i feel that no special exceptions should be made... and IMHO if those little kids want to take thier packer ponies and show let them go unrecognized. I know it's OT, but i heard a rumor that the VA horse trials may not offer BN this season because of how the "kids" that disrupted the area. I would just think that if the "ideas" above went into effect today all the hard work i put in to go reg BN/N would be a waste of time because for the same rules and less money i can go to an unreg. show.

Lets leave things how they are.. lowering standards of HT will only attract those who shouldn't be there in the first place. :yes:

Catalina
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:55 AM
I wouldn't change anything. Here in Area 2, BN and Novice always fills up at practically every event. There is no need to lower the standards to make it more attractive. plus, coming from the Jumper world, $150 or so for an event is CHEAP :winkgrin:.

flyingchange
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:58 AM
Eventing is already a great bargain! Think it's not?

Bargain? I don't think of my sport as a shopping expedition.

And I have no interest in doing straight dressage or hunters, so that comparison makes no sense to me.

Speedy
Jan. 18, 2008, 11:07 AM
Let`s say you are on the USEA Board, and you could change anything you wanted to about these 2 lower level divisions, either for the sake of simplicity or affordability, or anything else.
For example, what about the dress code? Should it remain fairly formal, or would you allow a greater degree of informality, chaps, no jackets, that sort of thing?

I like the formal dress code, but would not mind at all if it was relaxed to some degree (e.g. polo shirts, but not t-shirts) at ALL levels just as it often is when it's hot in the summer. I think the formality should be retained for championships and three days.

I just can't stand the idea of chaps in the show ring. Period.

I would be opposed to a change in the dress code at the lower levels only. It would just serve to exacerbate the great divide.


What about drug testing, would you waive that to save the money, or is that crucial to the fairness aspects?

My first instinct was to say that testing could be waived at the lower levels. But then it occurred to me that the abuses may actually be coming at the lower levels, where you often have folks trying to keep an old schoolmaster going when he really shouldn't be, and where you are also likely to see folks who don't know the rules as well as they should. So I don't know that I feel strongly about this, but I tend to think that the welfare of the horse dictates that you continue to test at these levels. But for me, that's the issue - the welfare of the horse, not fairness per se.


What about licensed tds? Would you have them, or accept possibly less expertise for the sake of lower entry fees?
What about licensed dressage judges, same reasons as above?
What about medical staff on grounds for all 3 phases?

I prefer to retain all of these. The involvement of these professionals is precisely what separates a recognized event from an unrecognized event and they are the primary reasons (in addition, of course, to safe course design and construction) why I am willing to pay more to attend a recognized event.


The reason I ask is because unrecognized events can avoid most of these expenses, (except the on grounds EMT) and pass the savings along to the competitors.
So are expenses getting to be so important to our riders that the USEA might consider easing some of the legislation at the 2 lower levels, or are you happy with what we now have?
Obviously this is only a hypothetical exercise, but it may prove important to the USEA in the future if expenses continue to escalate.

I think there are already plenty of unrecognized events out there for people who don't want to attend a recognized event. I also don't see a huge decline in the number of people competing at recognized events due to cost. Folks complain about costs and may do fewer events - they are more selective as to quality due to costs - but the numbers at the lower levels seem to be growing (at the events I attend anyway), not declining.

JFS
Jan. 18, 2008, 11:24 AM
Hey Auburn, it was good to see you at the Area VIII meeting last year. So I guess I'll respond to your question as to how do we manage to run our events so affordably. I'll ask you all to forgive me up front because I'm probably going to jump around a bit. There are several reasons why we can run our events so affordably and still make a some money. So here's a list in no particular order:

- we own our own farm and it is paid for
- we own all of our equipment and it is paid for: tractors, dressage rings, show jumps etc.
- our stabling barns are built and paid for serve as storage for much of the above equipment
- tractors and other farm equipment were primarily purchased by my husband for his hoby and sanity, making hay. I'm not sure how that helps his sanity as making hay in NE OH is far from sane, but he loves it.
- I am a licensed CD and Dave is a veterinarian so we save on those expenses
- other than my secretary, there are NO paid volunteers. I never understood how someone could be considered a volunteer if they were paid
- we have a strong volunteer base through our Pony Club which uses our farm as home base during good weather at no charge.
- as mentioned earlier, much of the farm, buildings, and equipment are multi-use and by having the facility, it enables us to have clinics and other competitions that generate some income or at least allow myself and my kids get to ride free with Lucinda and others. Well I shouldn't say that as we have paid for it in sweat equity.
- we're not fancy, the cross country jumps don't look like works of art or better than most furniture, but the courses are safe, fair, and appropriate for the levels. The stabling is rather 'rustic' as some have said in pervious posts on the forum, but they get the job done
We don't have all the hoop la and parties. I love it when someone says that they get a free dinner. There is no free dinner, it is in your entry fee. I could charge $20 more and feed you dinner but I choose to allow you to decide where and what you want to eat. I suppose those are the same people who think the government is giving them money when they get their tax refund but I won't go there

I believe that answered the some of the 'how' we keep our fees lower, now the I will give you some of the 'whys' we keep our fees low. Much of what I say is based on what we believe and / or what I would like as a competitor.

- we're not a KY Horse Park with all of the amenities
- because we're not 'fancy' as described above I feel that we shouldn't charge as much
- we want to encourage people to become involved in the sport of eventing and not discourage them because of the price
- now that I have 2 kids riding at the Preliminary level and above I have not been able to compete much at recognized events because I can't justify spending over a $1,000 just for entries & stabling for ONE weekend. (especially with one in college and both in college next year) I guess in my own way I feel for other competitors.
- as far as the bedding goes, I know don't like to have to buy bedding when I go to competitions so I provide it. Bulk shavings cost me about $2/competitor. If I bring my own bagged shavings to a competition it costs me about $10 - $15 per stall depending on how much we use.
- being in the middle of nowhere in NE OH there isn't a really big eventing base in the area and many of which have limited funds for competing

This will be the 24th year that we have been running events and obviously it is a labor of love. We enjoy primping up the place and welcoming people to our farm and watching them have a good time. Although we don't get big name riders here I am happy to know that horses like RG's Renegade, Montana Native and From got some of their early education at our competitions. Nothing against the BNR, but I actually prefer the adult amateurs and kids who really appreciate what we do provide for them.

My husband often says that he would hate to figure out how much we earn per hour, probably $.50/hour. But as I said before, working on the farm is my husband's recreation and relaxation and if I'm as overweight as I am now working this hard, imagine what I would look like if I wasn't. Besides it gives us time together, never mind, that usually isn't 'quality' time together. Keep in mind, this is our home and as Dave often says, we fix our place up with other people's money. I guess we're part of a dying breed and people don't seem to mind paying the extra for the amenities, parties and fancy jumps, but that's just not what we're all about here.

Jackie

InstigatorKate
Jan. 18, 2008, 11:36 AM
I agree that drug testing is not really warranted at BN and N. Otherwise, I'd leave it alone. At least in my Area (II), I have a broad choice of unrecognized and recognized competitions. When I choose to do the recognized competitions, it's BECAUSE of all the things you listed as possibly eliminating.

I understand other areas may not have that luxury, and then it may make sense to make the TDs and licensed judges optional in areas that host, say, less than 10 events at BN or N level.

Dress code should remain mandatory. Not to sound snobbish, but in this day and age, if you can't buy, eBay, beg, or borrow what you need to be presentable in the dressage phase and safe in the jumping phases, you shouldn't be competing at a national level. JMHO.

ETA: I'll change 10 events to 15, which according to the Omnibus would include areas V, VII, IX, and X.

flyingchange
Jan. 18, 2008, 11:37 AM
JFS -

Bless you. I wish I were closer to you and could come to your events. They sound like the real deal. The event you run is a dying breed as it seems ... you run it as a "labor of love," while the new breed seems to be a "labor of [fill in the blank as you see fit]."

JFS
Jan. 18, 2008, 11:49 AM
Sorry I should have proofed my response before hitting the send button. The Area 8 meeting last week not last year.

I just told my husband about this thread and he really wanted me to stress the fact that we do all the work ourselves. And when I say all the work I mean fence building, excavating, mowing and weed whacking, set up and take down the list goes on and on and on. There is no paid staff here. Well technically our boys are on the payroll, but that all goes back to paying for college.

Perhaps if events could get more volunteers they wouldn't have to charge so much or I believe Poplar Place gives credit vouchers for those who volunteer which in the long run is probably more equitable. Sometimes I'll help someone at an event or schooling day and they ask me how much they owe me and I say help at one of my events and the response often is that they would rather pay me than owe me.

Keep in mind that 90% of the work for an event is before and after the event, not during the event, so if you live near an event that you plan on riding in you can help before or after the event.

I will give fair warning, if we manage to buy the 49 acres across the street you will probably will see a raise in the entries :)

Jackie

Hilary
Jan. 18, 2008, 12:00 PM
I wouldn't change things either - if I want a cheaper event, I go to a schooling event. And I choose those carefully - some are run by facilities that have sanctioned events and they use the same courses, but don't make it quite so fancy, and use local judges. Some do not run sanctioned events and I expect that I will find some of the fences and courses to be less than ideal. However, I support those events for the really green horses because they just need to get out and do something.

What I notice with the expensive events vs. the cheaper ones is the quality and age of the fences. The places that have new fences every year, with new course designs and fancy carvings on the XC logs are the expensive events.

At least in Area I there is a difference between courses built by expert coures builders and courses built by volunteers and the farm owner with their tractor and a couple of nail guns. those fences at sanctioned events are not as pretty, perhaps, but serve the same purpose.

Also, the pricy events tend to be fancier all around - fancy food booths, vs. pony club dads cooking burgers, lots of flowers and painted signs all over the place, vs. paper plates with an arrow indicating which way to XC start.

Little stuff that is sort of nice when it's there, but really, if I get to XC via paper plate directions or a hand-carved wooden sign, what is the difference? It's the XC that counts.

savvy
Jan. 18, 2008, 12:02 PM
I think that the cost is often discouraging. I used to event for many years but haven't recently due to youngsters. Now that they are to a point to where I could event, when I look at the costs it is often hard to justify it.

I think we should keep the rules in place but I agree that streamlining the schedule would be really helpful. I live in the west where there are very few choices - recognized or unrecognized - to choose from. When BN or N is held over 2 and sometimes 3 days it just is more time and money than I feel like I can spend. Besides the cost of gas, motels, food, entry fees, stabling etc. there is also the cost of hiring a house sitter while I am gone.

And finally, this comment "Anyone who thinks it's too costly is not someone I want eventing." really bothers me. Talk about elitist. I have ridden for more than 50 years (YIKES!) and spend a huge amount of money on my horses and instruction - when I can get it here in the boonies. I almost always finished on my dressage score when I used to event and volunteered countless hours at different events. Just because someone doesn't have loads of expendable income has no bearing on their ability to ride and compete safely.

SmallHerd
Jan. 18, 2008, 12:05 PM
I don't think competing at these levels is cost prohibitive, although sometimes stabling costs do seem a bit excessive. I wouldn't change the dress code, TDs, or anything else, as I want the BN/N experience to mimic that of higher levels. Like others have said, I don't want any surprises or have to worry about changing things if/when I get to the higher levels. Making a mistake or a fashion faux pas at BN/N is okay, but would be totally embarrasing at the higher levels.

I also ditto the sentiments about the judges. I want to know that my training is moving in the correct direction and want the same quality of comments at this level as I would get at the higher levels.

Xanthoria
Jan. 18, 2008, 12:25 PM
Anyone who thinks it's too costly is not someone I want eventing. Reducing the cost will attract them. You know the people - those for whom lessons and coaching are too expensive. I do not want to be in the warm up with them, and do not wish them on the organizers. These are the same people who cheap out on the entry and then have a complete fit when an EMT isn't there within 5 seconds of the time they plinked off on XC. They think they should enter at T because 2'11" is too small.

I suppose that would include all people from the UK, Ireland and New Zealand who are used to having loads of inexpensive events to attend every weekend during the season. And who still can't figure out why eventing in the USA has to be so much more expensive than back home...?

Damn cheapskates!

quietann
Jan. 18, 2008, 12:27 PM
And I would say that in general if I am going to a "recognized" event, I want the same experience as the higher levels -- same judges, a TD, EMTs etc. It may be years before I actually compete at a recognized event, but I'm looking forward to having the "big experience" when I get there. I'm in Area 1, which seems to have a lot of good starter unrecognized events.

I do agree with the person who said making coats optional at a certain temp -- say 80 degrees -- should be done at ALL levels. I rode in a schooling show on a 90 degree plus day this year. I begged my trainer to let me ride without my coat, and she said no because everyone else was wearing their coats. I was truly miserable, just riding two dressage tests, maybe 6 minutes total including warm-up, in the da*n coat.

I have mixed feelings about drug testing; perhaps there should be very clear guidelines on Bute, how much can be given to horses of certain weights etc. There are a lot of old packers enjoying BN and N, and many of them are a bit arthritic... would rather see them on a small dose of Bute than not on any because the owner is afraid of it getting picked up in a drug test.

Roney
Jan. 18, 2008, 12:29 PM
What about drug testing, would you waive that to save the money, or is that crucial to the fairness aspects?
What about licensed tds? Would you have them, or accept possibly less expertise for the sake of lower entry fees?

These two are the only ones I'd really think would be worth the compromise... it would be nice if there were a lower level of certification for TDs or something like that to help with the costs. And honestly, if someone is wacky enough to unsafely drug their horse up for BN or N when the horse doesn't medically need it, they're going to find some way to get themselves into trouble regardless of the testing.

For me, though, the trailering and other expenses (food, etc.) are often to usually as much as the entry itself, so the entry fee is usually not what determines which event to go to, or whether to go at all. I.E. If a recognized event is 30 miles closer to me than an unrec., I will save $60 in trailering by going to the recognized, which will often offset the cost difference anyway. Now, if someone could figure out how to reduce gas prices, THAT would affect my show schedule.... :p

(On a side note, another way I look at it is that the cost of the show itself is minimal compared to the cost to be fully and safely ready for it, as an AA on a greener horse; specifically weekly training, appropriate vet care, and offsite XC schooling.)

Marney
Jan. 18, 2008, 12:44 PM
Having competed at higher levels and now starting a horse at BN I want the same experience. I am not rich and I find ways to afford training, clinics and shows. I want to compete and move up the levels. I want each level to have the same rules and regulations so that the progression is steady.

eks
Jan. 18, 2008, 12:44 PM
[QUOTE=mackay;2946062]I think that the cost is often discouraging. I used to event for many years but haven't recently due to youngsters. Now that they are to a point to where I could event, when I look at the costs it is often hard to justify it.

I think we should keep the rules in place but I agree that streamlining the schedule would be really helpful. I live in the west where there are very few choices - recognized or unrecognized - to choose from. When BN or N is held over 2 and sometimes 3 days it just is more time and money than I feel like I can spend. Besides the cost of gas, motels, food, entry fees, stabling etc. there is also the cost of hiring a house sitter while I am gone./QUOTE]

I think all of the things Denny mentioned should be kept in place. I like the formality of the traditional dress and feel that the lower level events should mirror the upper levels.

The biggest concern I have with the lower levels, is the fact that they are run over 3 days. I used to event at the 2 star level 10 years ago before I had a family. I was in Area II at the time. If I remember correctly, Area II used to have tons of events that were held over 1 day. It wasn't until you moved up to Prelim that you had to stay overnight.

I moved to FL a few years ago, and have gotten back into eventing. I have a young horse and I rarely get out because most of the events are over 3 days and I can't justify the costs associated with having to pay for hotel, food etc..the entry fee and stabling are the least of it...not to mention leaving my kids and husband for 3-4 days..it makes it hard for people who work full time too. The lower level events held over 3 days really cater to the BNR who have a lot of horses entered. For those of us with only one horse at the event, there is a lot of time spent just waiting around.

Ponylady27
Jan. 18, 2008, 12:52 PM
Keep it the same. I don't really feel like it's cost prohibitive. I pay $60-$80 for a combined test. Another $50+ to get cross country and "real" judges is well worth it.

*gasp* is that ALL you guys pay?? Here in Area VI we're paying anywhere from $200 - $260 for BN/N entries and that does NOT include stabling ($105 - $175)or grounds fees ($40 - $100) if you trailer in. TR and above are even more. I regularly write checks for approx $400 per event - before training, hotels, gas, etc. Also most of our events go over 3 days as well. On average I figure that I spend anywhere from $700 - $1000 per event depending on distance, location and lodging options.

What the heck??? How about a change here, Area VI folks?!:confused:

Fence2Fence
Jan. 18, 2008, 01:05 PM
I'd like to see BN/N held on one day. I live a half hour from the KHP and trailer into the events I compete at; as you can see, this idea suits me just fine! Not so practicle for the folks traveling from Michigan and Alabama to compete here.

For one day horse trials, I'd like to see the dress code modified to a light color polo shirt and breeches, and tall boots. Braiding would be required though. Makes it easy to just change your hat, put on your vest and armband. I'd like to keep the formal dress for horse trials held over multiple days and for championships.

I wouldn't give up licensed officials or the EMTs, but I'm not so worried about the drug testing.

Saskatoonian
Jan. 18, 2008, 01:09 PM
I'm the elitist and have no qualms about it. I hear a lot of talk and read a lot of rules proposals and see a lot of questionable riding which I attribute in part to this mania for attracting people to the sport, and reducing the cost and standards of eventing contributes to that.

However, it's not a question of having or not having money, but a question of willingness to spend it to ride on someone else's property and especially XC course, on which they pay the taxes, which they've built and maintain, without grousing and nickel and diming the organizers to death. If they do it as a labor of love, wonderful - let's keep it that way and contribute to the bottom line, rather than perpetually griping because they charge too much. I just do not see our organizers driving around in Jaguars on our entry fees.


Off soapbox and back to your regularly scheduled thread. :)

hey101
Jan. 18, 2008, 01:11 PM
Ponylady- I agree wholeheartedly! I just moved from Area II, US eventing mecca, to Area VI. I know we pay a lot for sunny-and-70 year round, but really! I just wrote a check for $357 for a BN horse trial! Plus another $50 in gas, and I will most likely sleep in my truck for the weekend. I know that is cheap-o of me, but... It sure does hurt remembering all the wonderful unrecognized shows within 60 minutes of where I used to live that I could put the BN-N mileage on my baby for less than $75 per outing until she was ready to go Training. :sigh: I have searched like mad but I just haven't found unrecognized horse trials in the SoCal area (only Copper Meadows). So I will pay the recognized entry fees and try to save on everything else (hotel for me etc), so I can justify doing 3 or 4 HT's a year with her. But man, it still hurts writing that check. :o

Janet
Jan. 18, 2008, 01:16 PM
Let`s say you are on the USEA Board, and you could change anything you wanted to about these 2 lower level divisions, either for the sake of simplicity or affordability, or anything else. I assume that this is aimed at new-to-evening riders, not experienced eventers with green horses doing BNH.

For example, what about the dress code? Should it remain fairly formal, or would you allow a greater degree of informality, chaps, no jackets, that sort of thing? Might relax the dressage dress code to permit colored shirts and lighter color jackets at BN, so nobody has to go out and buy a new jacket to try it. But other than that, the only part of the dress code that involes extra expense is the body protector. While I am, personally, not entirely convinced of their neccessity, I do not think it would be a good idea to waive them.

What about drug testing, would you waive that to save the money, or is that crucial to the fairness aspects? I think participation in the drug testing program is essential.

What about licensed tds? Would you have them, or accept possibly less expertise for the sake of lower entry fees?
I don't see how this would be a savings. I have never seen a recognized event that was JUST BN, so you already have a licensed TD for the rest of the event. TDs usually charge by the day, not by the number of entries or the division. Even apart from that, I think it is MORE important to have a licensed TD for BN, becuase of the need for consistent interpretation of the rules, where the riders are more likely to be unfamilair with the rules.

What about licensed dressage judges, same reasons as above? Basically the same comments as about TDs. Even for unrecognized events, I am very hesitant to show in front of an unlicensed judge- there are a handful of L-graduates I will show in front of, but only a handful. And for riders who, quite likely, have not shown in dressage much, it is really important to get correct judging.

What about medical staff on grounds for all 3 phases?Again, they are already paid for.


The reason I ask is because unrecognized events can avoid most of these expenses, (except the on grounds EMT) and pass the savings along to the competitors.
One way of reducing cost to new competitors would be to significantly reduce the non-member fee at BN (say by50%).


So are expenses getting to be so important to our riders that the USEA might consider easing some of the legislation at the 2 lower levels, or are you happy with what we now have?
Obviously this is only a hypothetical exercise, but it may prove important to the USEA in the future if expenses continue to escalate.


I can see a couple of ways of making BN more inviting, at little to no cost.

A cross country briefing by the TD, like the jump judges briefing, but from the riders' perspective.

A BN course walk, conducted by an experienced person who will make comments and answer questions, without actually coaching anyone. This could/should be done for both Stadium and Cross Country.

If time permits, an opportunity, at the end of the day, for an additional fee, to redo (in front of the judge) either your dressage test or your show jumping round.

JER
Jan. 18, 2008, 01:29 PM
Let`s say you are on the USEA Board, and you could change anything you wanted to about these 2 lower level divisions, either for the sake of simplicity or affordability, or anything else.
For example, what about the dress code? Should it remain fairly formal, or would you allow a greater degree of informality, chaps, no jackets, that sort of thing?
What about drug testing, would you waive that to save the money, or is that crucial to the fairness aspects?
What about licensed tds? Would you have them, or accept possibly less expertise for the sake of lower entry fees?
What about licensed dressage judges, same reasons as above?
What about medical staff on grounds for all 3 phases?

First off, I'd like to see BN and N run as a one-day format. This is more about training than it is about cost. A one day HT is what the sport is supposed to be. Dressage as warm-up for jumping, horse working through all phases in one day. For the past 18 years, I've been living in Area VI, where HTs take place usually over 3 days (although some are changing back to 2). A green eventer usually needs more than a single three-minute dressage test to learn about showing for the day. Contrast this with a h/j show where you can do several classes of flat or jumping, wait around, do another class, etc. This is so much better for teaching a horse to focus on the job.

Now for denny's questions.

Dress code -- Make it optional, for all HTs. Polo shirts look just fine and there's no changing required (all the easier for your 1-day HT). This makes it so much easier on parents of growing eventers and it also allows you to wear your XC body protector in SJ without much fuss (I have a sizes-too-big coat for SJ as I do not jump without a vest.)

Wool coats and ties are nice for winter foxhunting. But for an athletic competition, they're dysfunctional. Don't talk to me about tradition unless you think football players should go back to wearing leather pants and the Olympics should be contested naked.

Drug testing -- This is often dictated by state ag laws and therefore not at the discretion of the organizer. This is the case in CA. Drug-testing isn't really on my radar as I don't drug my horses. I can see where it's an inconvenience for the organizer, however.

Licensed TDs -- I think you need to have a qualified point person for ensuring that conditions are safe and that rules are enforced, at least if you're running a recognized event.

Licensed dressage judges -- Yes, if the HT is recognized. Schooling shows could be ok with learner judges. But perhaps there could be lower fees for a short day of judging?

Medical staff on grounds -- I'm an EMT. I know from experience that there isn't always an ambulance on the grounds due to county allocations. But if you have enough competitors, spectators, helpers on your property, you usually will have some sort of illness or mishap (this is simply about numbers). An open airway (EMTs are trained to think airway-airway-airway and have reasonable good tools for this) is the difference between life and death and you can't wait 20 minutes for an ambulance if you're not breathing.

There are a few work-arounds for having a paid ambo on the grounds. (1) If the organizer knows the time out for local services, as in how long it takes them to get there, you can probably safely skip on-grounds stuff for your dressage day. (2) Many areas have volunteer organizations of licensed non-pros who show up at public events to supply first aid. Some groups have their own ambulances, others don't but have good medical kits and can treat the injured person until the ambulance gets there. However, if you have a large enough number of entries, you should have a crew there as with hundreds of horses and hundreds of people, something is bound to happen and as the organizer, you don't have time to deal with it.

Great questions, denny.

minniemoore
Jan. 18, 2008, 01:38 PM
I do a recognized event because I like the quality of judging in dressage as well as the TD. Last year I went to an unrecognized event and the stadium course wasn't appropriate for my level. Eliminating the TD might discourage me from doing the recognized event for this reason. Medical personnel is paramount at all levels. It's a dangerous sport and you can get hurt in a million ways even if you're experienced.

I used to live in Area I at BN and N and everything was run in one day, which is much easier for me to handle given a full-time job - although it strained my brain to remember three patterns ;)

Now living in Area VI, the costs have gone up 3x compared to New England, but so is everything else. Since I have an older guy I thought I might give him a break from XC this year, but since he's 100% sound, and the hunter/jumper shows cost in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $2,500 per week, I think I'll keep with eventing, since that's what I love anyway.

It's very difficult for me to do an event over 3 days especially if there's hotel expenses involved. Plus, since I don't have my own transportation, it's much more expensive to pay for a hauler to pick me up and drop me off twice. I would really like to be able to do these lower levels over 1 or at most 2 days.

I agree with a lot of the other posters that I like the traditional dress, and I'd rather make my mistakes and get eliminated for dress code at BN or N, rather than T or more. I've always been on a shoestring budget, but I've picked up tall boots at the tack shop annual sale for $50, and a Charles Owens helmet for $50 the same way. Part of what I like is that I was never a "girly girl" and this is my chance to play "dress up" and feel professional.

I have mixed feelings about the drug testing. I agree that it's important for the health and welfare of the horse. On the other hand, these horses aren't going for international competitions. Perhaps enforce drug testing for championships since these are nationally visible competitions.

JER
Jan. 18, 2008, 01:39 PM
And one more thing.

What I'd really like to see is INVITING COURSES at BN and N. An inviting course is straightforward fences without a 99-cents stores' worth of adornments. Really, leave the life-sized stuffed dummies at home -- I saw this several times last year and wanted to congratulate the horses who simply refused to jump a lifelike human form. Don't put huge sinister grinning jack o'lantern faces on the jump wings at eye level. Don't put tiger-striped fabric over the planks on a show jump (predator patterns disrupt horses' vision).

This is basic stuff. If you want to deck out UL fences, fine. Those horses have already learned that it doesn't matter what's around the jump. But how the heck are you going to teach your horse this if every obstacle has a big effin' surprise?

mbarrett
Jan. 18, 2008, 02:36 PM
OK Denny, I am the very person you are talking about. I am a BN rider. I work full-time, I am in graduate school, my time is tight, as is my money.

I show at recognized events and not schooling shows because of all the things you listed. Formal attire, licensed judges and TD's, drug testing, EMT's on site, etc., etc.

If I am going to spend my time and money going to an event, it's going to be a recognized event. I want to be safe (medical staff at all phases), I want good quality dressage judging (honest feedback of my dressage ride, not watered down feedback), TD's who know what the heck they are doing, and a place to wear my formal attire that I spent all my hard earned money on (unless, of course, it is 100 degrees in the shade out.) and drug-testing (because I can't stand cheaters.)

I want the whole recognized event experience. Why spend maybe $100 less and go to an unrecognized event and not get a good quality experience out of it?

I'm sure I'm in the minority. I think eventing is not that expensive. Compared to reining (my husband is a reining trainer), his entry fees, stalls, judges fees, etc. is a several hundred dollars for ONE run. Eventers have it pretty good. One entry fee, three rides.

CWO
Jan. 18, 2008, 02:42 PM
I agree with most posters so far.

DO NOT CHANGE any of these things!!

Janet
Jan. 18, 2008, 02:49 PM
I do agree with the person who said making coats optional at a certain temp -- say 80 degrees -- should be done at ALL levels. Already in the rules, but it is 85 deg, or heat index of 85 deg.

At temperatures above 85°F, a heat index above 85°, or at the
discretion of the Ground Jury or the Organizer, competitors will be permitted to compete
without jackets, in the dressage and/or jumping tests.

Janet
Jan. 18, 2008, 02:59 PM
I have mixed feelings about drug testing; perhaps there should be very clear guidelines on Bute, how much can be given to horses of certain weights etc. There are a lot of old packers enjoying BN and N, and many of them are a bit arthritic... would rather see them on a small dose of Bute than not on any because the owner is afraid of it getting picked up in a drug test. Those guidelines are already in place too.
2 g per 1000 lb, more than 12 hours ahead
or
1 g per 1000 lb, twice a day (AM and PM feed)

CookiePony
Jan. 18, 2008, 03:15 PM
I assume that this is aimed at new-to-evening riders, not experienced eventers with green horses doing BNH.
Might relax the dressage dress code to permit colored shirts and lighter color jackets at BN, so nobody has to go out and buy a new jacket to try it. But other than that, the only part of the dress code that involes extra expense is the body protector. While I am, personally, not entirely convinced of their neccessity, I do not think it would be a good idea to waive them.

I think participation in the drug testing program is essential.

[re forgoing licensed TDs]
I don't see how this would be a savings. I have never seen a recognized event that was JUST BN, so you already have a licensed TD for the rest of the event. TDs usually charge by the day, not by the number of entries or the division. Even apart from that, I think it is MORE important to have a licensed TD for BN, becuase of the need for consistent interpretation of the rules, where the riders are more likely to be unfamilair with the rules.
Basically the same comments as about TDs. Even for unrecognized events, I am very hesitant to show in front of an unlicensed judge- there are a handful of L-graduates I will show in front of, but only a handful. And for riders who, quite likely, have not shown in dressage much, it is really important to get correct judging.
Again, they are already paid for.

One way of reducing cost to new competitors would be to significantly reduce the non-member fee at BN (say by50%).


I can see a couple of ways of making BN more inviting, at little to no cost.

A cross country briefing by the TD, like the jump judges briefing, but from the riders' perspective.

A BN course walk, conducted by an experienced person who will make comments and answer questions, without actually coaching anyone. This could/should be done for both Stadium and Cross Country.

If time permits, an opportunity, at the end of the day, for an additional fee, to redo (in front of the judge) either your dressage test or your show jumping round.

All of Janet's points here are spot on. A competitors' briefing and course walk is a great idea.

Avra
Jan. 18, 2008, 03:18 PM
I agree with keeping the rules in place--although I would love to have a white polo always be an option for dressage. It would be fantastic if things could also be cheaper--but I'm not really sure that's possible. And if anyone took the hit, it would almost definitely have to be the USEA, by waiving or cutting costs on things like horse registration.

I AM curious about the drug testing, though. How many horses get tested in any given year? It's a random testing, right? What percentage of BN and N horses are tested? Five? One? Less than one? Is it enough to be a deterrent? How much would be enough? One in every hundred? One BN horse per event? Or per section? Is it enough to be worthwhile? Could the random testing be waived, with the stipulation that the TD/ GJ has the option of requiring testing of any horse for any reason, at their discretion?

Whisper
Jan. 18, 2008, 04:30 PM
I've done several unrecognized HTs, and hope to do some recognized ones once I am riding better, and get the horse logistics worked out. While entry fees are higher for recognized HTs, the main additional expense is for gas/stabling, and it's harder to arrange the logistics to take an extra 2 or 3 days off from work. The schooling HTs are less than an hour away, and are 1-day, so we can just trailer in, show, and head home. Even going to the 2 recognized HTs in my area would require taking 2 days off from work (trailering in the day before, and the HT starts on Friday) and stabling for 3 nights. I don't think there is a solution, and once I have my ducks in a row, I do want to go to some recognized HTs. I do think that credits toward entry/schooling in exchange for volunteering is a great idea. :D

jn4jenny
Jan. 18, 2008, 04:34 PM
LOVE Janet's ideas. I ditto all of them.

Here Comes Luther
Jan. 18, 2008, 05:18 PM
JFS...I just have to say that I don't think you guys give yourself enough credit! I was at a mini trial at your place this summer, and also the hunter pace this fall. Everything was pristine, and I thought the mini trial jumps were amazing. I just did intro level, but the jumps were beautiful! And I'd kill to come school on your XC course one day. I'm looking forward to being at your events this year!!! :)

CANTEREOIN
Jan. 18, 2008, 05:53 PM
I'm a BN rider that worked hard for two years to finally make to the big time - a Recognized Event. I may be at BN for a while and the same at Novice... one day I'll do Training... one day.

I am honored to go the Recognized Events (RE) and would never want to dummy-it down... not one bit. I choose to go Recognized because of the formality, the TDs, the rules, the safety issues, the certified judges. If it weren't for those, I would just do schooling shows.

As for the drug testing - yes, keep it here too. If you want to compete in the big league you have to have the same rules as everyone else. I'd hate to see the envelope pushed when it comes to drugs (legal too) and it is human nature to do so (or at least think about it).

I do schooling Dressage shows too but really felt great when I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to a recognized show.

Keep the standards the way they are.

ZEBE
Jan. 18, 2008, 06:02 PM
I wouldn't change any of the rules either. My only objection is running the BN/N/T over 2-3 days... and running lower levels on a weekday (Friday dressage and then running the rest of the HT over Sat or Sat and Sunday. ) This has been a determining factor at two events.

I hate to bring it up... (but I remember eventing back in the 80's).. I don't recall riders competing 4-5 - 6+ horses in a day..

Because entries at some events can run into the 200-300 (and there are quite a few in Area II), especially in the height of the season with multiple rides.. it becomes impossible for organizers to do anything in one day ! (Although Denis Glaccum has proved it can be done when we have had hurricanes/ etc. and he's literally pushed through a 2 day competition into one day... (it's amazing :-)

For me -multiple days = over night stays/stabling = $$$$$$$$$ not to mention who is going take care of farm/horses at home = $$$$ to pay for barn sitters for overnight events. -- so that's the biggest issue in that respect.

HiJumpGrrl
Jan. 18, 2008, 07:47 PM
Could you save on EMT fees by inviting USEA members who are trained in emergency medical intervention (doctors, EMTs, medics, whatever) to volunteer to be the emergency medical folks? I guess I don't know how that would work with insurance, though.

Pandarus33
Jan. 18, 2008, 07:49 PM
I'd love to see more BN/N events run in one day rather than spread it out over the weekend. A one-day means less hotel fees, stabling (wouldn't need it much), meals, etc. MUCH cheaper than spending an extra night just for the SJ phase.

I can make it to more one-day events than two-days. Having a full-time job means that a two-day event eats up the entire weekend.

RunForIt
Jan. 18, 2008, 09:10 PM
Do away with drug testing. Do more one day BN/N events - they aren't going to stress the horses and will fit up the riders. Limit those events to ammy riders and pros on green horses in separate divisions. I need the safety, the best/safest fences, the smartest ground juries and TDs, and the dressage judges who know how BN/N horses and riders (GREEN RIDERs/HORSES)should go in dressage tests. Thanks so much for asking.

enjoytheride
Jan. 18, 2008, 09:50 PM
I think the poster who suggested that keeping the prices high would keep away the idiots was insulting.

I am poor, and after my seperation I am even poorer. I fund shows through bonuses and overtime at work which I set aside, I reduce board by mucking stalls, I lesson every other week with a super trainer because that is what I can afford. I ride 5 days a week, I bum rides off people to shows because I can't afford a truck and trailer. I ride green horses that are not my own because I can only afford one horse and he is retired.

I do not ride like an idiot, I ride well at my level, and I LOVE showing. But for now I am stuck at the lower levels, no complaints though. I deserve to show just as much as the next person who makes much more then I do in a year.

Unrecognized events are not schooling, that idea makes me mad.

Currently I show at all unrecognized events, I work just as hard and treat it just as seriously as a recognized show. I can enter more classes, more shows, and the levels are perfect for the green horses I ride, you insult people by saying that unrecognized shows are nothing but a schooling party.

Robin@DHH
Jan. 18, 2008, 11:55 PM
I run one of those modest schooling shows, the sort held on just one day. One of the things
we do very differently from recognized shows (and do very intentionally) is keep our closing
date very close to the date of the competition. When we first got into eventing we often found
we did not know if we would, in fact, be ready for showing from several weeks out. While it
can be rather hectic for me as organizer and for my show secretary that we really don't kow
how many entries we will have until a week before the actual show date, it is a big boon to
a competitor who doesn't know if the horse will be ready or even sound until short days
before the actual competition. So my suggestion would be to consider shortening the
time window from closing date to show date for BN and N eventing.

galwaybay
Jan. 19, 2008, 12:05 AM
Good question, thank you for asking and here are my thoughts:

1a. most BN and N events are USEA recognized and USEF sanctioned, therefore the drug testing fee might be easily waived, however, it could prove a nightmare for show/event secretaries who are quite often volunteers -I always like to keep volunteers happy so they keep volunteering.

1b: Drug testing a BN or N packer - the argument can be yes allow those wonderful horses a little bute or a little of that to get them around; but not all horses in N and BN are packers - what about those up and coming youngsters. How is the Drug Tester going to differentiate between Leslie Law's Novice horse and and Big Wave Dave doing the Novice - if the drug testing is supposed to be "Random".

2. At many events, the entry fee is often less for the lower levels i.e. $150 for BN & N, $165 Training; $175 Prelim etc.

3. Event venues need to make an income, otherwise we may lose them as nice as it would be to lower the fees.

4. Attire- coming from the Hunter world - I cannot believe we are discussing attire for the lower levels - I wish the Hunter world would follow some event guidelines - like no jackets if the heat index exceeds 85 - it's heartbreaking to see kids throwing up off the side of their ponies because they have to wear a jacket in 100 weather in an equitation class. Most events now have show jumping before Cross country so the only class you have to really dress up for is dressage - and often jackets are excused in hot weather. I think you are already allowed to wear smooth grain 1/2 chaps.

6: What I would like to see an adjustment with the Point System. A lot of events place down to 8th place - make those 7th and 8th places count ! In eventing, sure it's really mostly about that partnership, but you only get one shot at a placing - so if you do get a ribbon it should have point(s) attached to it.

2LaZ2race
Jan. 19, 2008, 12:19 AM
I'm really surprised with some of the responses here. Basically if you can't afford it you shouldn't be there :no:

I think that drug testing could be done away with at these levels, but getting rid of TDs or certified dressage judges would just cause more conflicts and people challenging scores. In area 2 some of the unrec. events are run so well and have up to Training level that there's no need to spend the money unless you just want to say you did... but its apparent that's what's fueling some people.

pwynnnorman
Jan. 19, 2008, 07:42 AM
Posting this for a friend:

The D&M is not about bute and other meds to make older horses more comfortable but more about some riders tranquilizing their horses to get a calmer dressage test thereby giving them an unfair advantage. If riders have to justifiably medicate their horses they can declare this to the TD ahead of time and complete a form that will go in with the TD report. I had to do that with one of my horses who had allergies and came out in a zillion pimples all over her body when not on her medication.

It is the FEI that has a 100 percent non-tolerance rule.

saje
Jan. 19, 2008, 08:15 AM
I'm in the "don't change a thing" camp. I like the formality, and you might as well jump in learning the 'real' rules from the get go.

As to helping people save a bit of $$ by allowing different clothing, I've seen people (new to the sport kids mostly, but adults too) show in a dark blazer that was bought in a consignment shop, a white T-shirt and a stock tie, beige schooling breeches and rubber boots. Put that person on an immaculately groomed and braided horse wearing sparkling clean tack and they look neat, tidy, and workmanlike. If the rider can produce a well ridden, accurate test, there is no reason they can't be competitive. You don't have to shop BoB to do well.

I am NOT a fan of the one day HT. I live a good 4+ hours from any recognized events (well, there is one that's a 3 hr ride) and doing 3 phases and then driving home again is not fun. More often than not I am by myself, so I do all the work, riding and driving. Generally I'll stay over Sat night and leave Sun anyway, so it's not saving me any money, unless the facility discounts the fees.

denny
Jan. 19, 2008, 08:52 AM
Let`s say that an organizer can run an "all in one day" unrecognized event, with an EMT on grounds all day, but no TD, maybe or maybe not a licensed dressage judge, and stadium judge, (probably not the latter), and charge an entry fee of somewhere between $70.00 and $90.00, and still make some money.
So for those living fairly close, no overnight stay, sandwiches made at home, gas and diesel to a minimum, no need to hire someone to feed the dogs, etc, at home, the whole thing can cost, what, under $150.00 per person, actual out of pocket expense?
OK, what is the difference between THAT and what most actually pay for a recognized event at beg. nov and novice, adding in everything? It`s likely to be at least two or three hundred dollars, especially if it involves an overnight stay, isn`t it? More ?
What I`m hearing, if most of you are representative of rank and file US eventers (and Chronicle readers, demographically, may not be), but if you are, most like things pretty much as they are.
So there`s not much shaving most organizers can do, is there, to reduce costs, except for compressing the schedule from 3 days to 2, or from 2 days to one?
As long as people are ok with this, and recognize that the costs are somewhat "self imposed" then what I`m hearing is that the USEA should leave those levels alone.
So costs, at least for most respondents here, are not that huge of an issue, at least not yet? At least not enough to justify tinkering with the status quo?

saje
Jan. 19, 2008, 09:02 AM
Of course I wish it could cost less, but realistically I don't see how. Horses are an expensive business to begin with, so I can't see that the shows we go to will be able to cut costs any more than we as horseowners can cut costs. You can shave off a little around the edges, but there's a fine line between cost savings and compromising quality and safety.

Status quo rules the day, I think.

CookiePony
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:17 AM
Let`s say that an organizer can run an "all in one day" unrecognized event, with an EMT on grounds all day, but no TD, maybe or maybe not a licensed dressage judge, and stadium judge, (probably not the latter), and charge an entry fee of somewhere between $70.00 and $90.00, and still make some money.

This sounds just like an unrecognized event to me.



So costs, at least for most respondents here, are not that huge of an issue, at least not yet? At least not enough to justify tinkering with the status quo?

Correct, for the most part, except I still do think the non-member BN fee should be reduced for those new to the sport or folks from other disciplines crossing over.

LAZ
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:59 AM
I'm in the process of building a venue for schooling shows, clinics and schooling. I started with hosting dressage shows and combined tests and am now offering all that plus event derbies GAG-Training. I haven't built to recognized standards because it is so much cheaper to build schooling standards (no wings), 10 foot poles (rather than 12') and the cross country jumps (though substantial, well built and the same look) are no longer than 12'. Lumber and materials just cost so much more to add length, and then you have to store the bigger pieces, and your arena is much more crowded with the additional width of wings and 12' poles.

CANTEREOIN
Jan. 19, 2008, 11:07 AM
For me, I will go to unrecognized events (which I call schooling) for extra fun - that's an alternative. And they are cheaper. Generally I don't even think about who is judging or whether or not there is a TD and I guess I assume that there is medical personnell (but I don't think about it.)

Recognized events are like the difference between the Major League and the Minor League. And I'll go one step further, the Minor League for me are unrecognized events held on grounds that run recognized events - they generally know what they are doing. The Bush League are all the others... and, some of them are scary (not all but some).

eventersmom
Jan. 19, 2008, 12:05 PM
Let`s say you are on the USEA Board, and you could change anything you wanted to about these 2 lower level divisions, either for the sake of simplicity or affordability, or anything else.
For example, what about the dress code? Should it remain fairly formal, or would you allow a greater degree of informality, chaps, no jackets, that sort of thing?
What about drug testing, would you waive that to save the money, or is that crucial to the fairness aspects?
What about licensed tds? Would you have them, or accept possibly less expertise for the sake of lower entry fees?
What about licensed dressage judges, same reasons as above?
What about medical staff on grounds for all 3 phases?

The reason I ask is because unrecognized events can avoid most of these expenses, (except the on grounds EMT) and pass the savings along to the competitors.
So are expenses getting to be so important to our riders that the USEA might consider easing some of the legislation at the 2 lower levels, or are you happy with what we now have?
Obviously this is only a hypothetical exercise, but it may prove important to the USEA in the future if expenses continue to escalate.

Being a (formerly) single mom trying to afford this sport for her child I appreciate the USEA considering costs for lower level riders. That being said, I think it's critical to keep licensed tds and medical staff. Safety is too important a consideration for all levels to give an inch in that respect.

I like the dress code the way it is. It is kind of like having a dress code at work. You put on the clothes and it somehow helps you mentally prepare for the task ahead. My daughter calls it putting on her "war gear". :winkgrin:

If there is an area to cut cost I would go for getting rid of testing at the lower levels. Most of these riders aren't riding drugged horses. They're just out there either learning what this is all about or bringing a greenie along. In either scenario, I don't think drug use is that prevalent. Or perhaps I'm just naive!

Licensed dressage judges are nice but, IMO, unnecessary at this level. The riders DO need a judge who is knowledgable enough to provide constructive and fair scoring and comments in order to learn from their ride but I'm unsure it needs to be a licensed judge.

Janet
Jan. 19, 2008, 01:07 PM
Let`s say that an organizer can run an "all in one day" unrecognized event, with an EMT on grounds all day, but no TD, maybe or maybe not a licensed dressage judge, and stadium judge, (probably not the latter), and charge an entry fee of somewhere between $70.00 and $90.00, and still make some money.
So for those living fairly close, no overnight stay, sandwiches made at home, gas and diesel to a minimum, no need to hire someone to feed the dogs, etc, at home, the whole thing can cost, what, under $150.00 per person, actual out of pocket expense?
OK, what is the difference between THAT and what most actually pay for a recognized event at beg. nov and novice, adding in everything? It`s likely to be at least two or three hundred dollars, especially if it involves an overnight stay, isn`t it? More ?
What I`m hearing, if most of you are representative of rank and file US eventers (and Chronicle readers, demographically, may not be), but if you are, most like things pretty much as they are.
So there`s not much shaving most organizers can do, is there, to reduce costs, except for compressing the schedule from 3 days to 2, or from 2 days to one?
As long as people are ok with this, and recognize that the costs are somewhat "self imposed" then what I`m hearing is that the USEA should leave those levels alone.
So costs, at least for most respondents here, are not that huge of an issue, at least not yet? At least not enough to justify tinkering with the status quo?
I think you are comparing apples and oranges.

There are lots of ways an entire unrecognized HT can be run for less $ than an entire recognized HT.

But not a lot of ways that any one particular division within a recognized HT can be run for less money - other than cutting the USEA and USEF fees, or building fewer/cheaper cross country fences.

If they want to, the organizers can split the price unevenly, charging more for the higher level entry fee,and less for the lower level entry fee- which many of them already do.

Personally, as a rider bringing along a green horse, I go to unrecognized BN, and don't even think about going to a recognized event until the horse is ready for Novice.

EventerAgain
Jan. 19, 2008, 01:18 PM
So costs, at least for most respondents here, are not that huge of an issue, at least not yet? At least not enough to justify tinkering with the status quo?


I agree with this statement. I am realistic about what my budget and lifestyle can tolerate in terms of competing in recognized events. To be honest, when I write out the $250 entry and stabling check, yeah, it stings the budget a bit. But when I drive in on the day of the event with trailer and horse in tow, see the grounds, and jumps and rings, etc...I think all in all this is not that much to pay for the experience of riding at an event.

JER
Jan. 19, 2008, 01:33 PM
Let`s say that an organizer can run an "all in one day" unrecognized event, with an EMT on grounds all day, but no TD, maybe or maybe not a licensed dressage judge, and stadium judge, (probably not the latter), and charge an entry fee of somewhere between $70.00 and $90.00, and still make some money.
So for those living fairly close, no overnight stay, sandwiches made at home, gas and diesel to a minimum, no need to hire someone to feed the dogs, etc, at home, the whole thing can cost, what, under $150.00 per person, actual out of pocket expense?
OK, what is the difference between THAT and what most actually pay for a recognized event at beg. nov and novice, adding in everything? It`s likely to be at least two or three hundred dollars, especially if it involves an overnight stay, isn`t it? More ?

In California, the entry fees will always be more than $90. An unrec HT is about $150 + stabling, a one day derby thing is $110 + stabling + a $35/day grounds fee. If you want a very expensive two-minute ride, the derby gives you a jumping only option for $90 (+ the other fees). And because people move to California because they love to sit in traffic for hours on end, there is a lot of gas $ and driving time involved.

A rec HT involves one or two days off from work, a 200-mile or more drive, and a few nights in your trailer if your lucky. Hotels in CA aren't cheap and depending on the area, you might be paying over $100/night.

In SoCal, you can't do two tests at a rec dressage show (and this is at the smaller shows) for less than $150. Five years ago, it was under $100 and let me point out that you're not getting an extra $50 worth of time in the dressage arena.

Now I'm in southern BC, where I can drive 15 minutes down the road to the local eq center with a E-P XC course. 2-Phase schooling shows have $20 entry fees, no extra add-ons like drug-testing, grounds fees. Jumping-only is $9. The recognized HTs are $85. Schooling is $15 as opposed to $60 like in California.

The difference surprises me because Canada is not cheap. Prices are much higher here for gas, food, vehicles, insurance, household goods -- especially with the newly empowered Canadian dollar. Land in this particular area is now about $100K/acre.


So costs, at least for most respondents here, are not that huge of an issue, at least not yet? At least not enough to justify tinkering with the status quo?

Perhaps not with this group. But the people here are the people who go to recognized HTs already. I think if you had two kids who wanted to give eventing a try, you'd view a weekend at a HT, rec or unrec, as an expensive weekend. (I know families who live in LA, in 7-figure houses, who plan their kids' show schedule very carefully.)

There are also other costs of taking time away from home. Most of us here have other pets, other horses, etc. Someone has to care for and feed them while you're away. This can add up too. Same goes for taking time off from work. You may have to rearrange your schedule or forego a shift or be ready to put out a million fires when you get back to the office on Monday -- after a long slog through Sunday evening traffic after the HT.

eventersmom
Jan. 19, 2008, 02:29 PM
So there`s not much shaving most organizers can do, is there, to reduce costs, except for compressing the schedule from 3 days to 2, or from 2 days to one?
As long as people are ok with this, and recognize that the costs are somewhat "self imposed" then what I`m hearing is that the USEA should leave those levels alone.
So costs, at least for most respondents here, are not that huge of an issue, at least not yet? At least not enough to justify tinkering with the status quo?

This is an expensive sport. I think most of us that get into it realize that. Cost is a huge issue but... Some of us can go to multiple recognized events each season while there are others of us that can afford to go to one or perhaps two a season. I've been a member of both groups. The years I can't afford the recognized events we've done clinics and perhaps an unrecognized event or two instead. We go when we can afford it and stay home when we can't.

However, in order for organizers to continue to be able to offer recognized events, they have to have entries. Perhaps making the lower levels more affordable would help the organizers out. Janet had some great ideas. I wish I had some to offer! This is an interesting topic!

denny
Jan. 19, 2008, 04:16 PM
In Vermont where I live through most of the competition year there seems to exist a thriving circuit of unrecognized events, ranging from "grasshopper", essentially little logs to trot over, right up to training.
I also think that although there is a fair degree of crossover, many riders ONLY compete unrecognized.
I`m guessing this is mainly expense related, and probably also because of what we might call "the intimidation" factor of sanctioned events.
Whatever the reason, many of these events are full to bursting, with 90-110 entries for a one day event, sometimes more.
As expenses climb, which I can`t help thinking they will, I expect that more competitors will avail themselves of these more affordable events.
As long as they have a good xc and good medical staff on grounds, the horses can`t tell the difference. So they provide a real service to our sport as venues to learn, have fun, and test limits.
Face it, lots of real people have take home pay of $700.00 a week, or $35,000.00 a year. One recognized event costing $350.00 is 1% of that rider`s entire annual income.
Eventing used to be less of an elitist sport, 25-35 years ago, I think, and I also think that we need to salvage some portion of that attainability.
I`d sort of hoped we might do that within the auspices of the USEA, but I`m beginning to think that probably can`t happen.

quietann
Jan. 19, 2008, 05:55 PM
Denny, you are right about all those small events in Area 1. I was groom for my friend when she competed in Novice at Vershire last summer, and it was really fun. She says she'll let me go Elementary there this year on the same horse, if we work hard, and I'm very excited about that. She has a new horse she'll take Novice there.

I have also been at Green Acres (in NH) and we may go to Pipestave Hill (MA), if not to compete then to school X/C. Pipestave Hill runs Elementary and BN 3 times a year and fills *very* quickly. These events offer a nice introduction at a much lower cost than a recognized event, and having seen a few of the recognized BN courses in Area 1, I may be doing unrecognized events for a while! There are plenty of people around here just doing unrecognized events, simply because they are more low-key and easier to get into.

pwynnnorman
Jan. 19, 2008, 06:11 PM
I haven't read the whole thread, so forgive me for asking a question that has already been answered or described.

What kind of scheduling do unrecognized events tend to use in terms of opening and closing dates, and how do they handle waiting lists, event cancellations and horse withdrawls? Are these aspects also more convenient/inexpensive compared to recognized events?

retreadeventer
Jan. 19, 2008, 06:11 PM
I don't feel strongly about any of the cost-saving measures quoted, except one - the drug testing. Shame on anyone who says it isn't necessary or thinks it's ok to bute up the old campaigners to get them around under the newbie riders. Horrifying horsemanship! Drug testing is in place not to catch the cheaters, but to ensure the safety and welfare of every horse competing! It means you cannot overdo medication just to get an unsound horse thru a competition, for what? For the sake of competing? Any horse stepping foot in the start box needs to be SOUND. Period. If a horse needs a substantial amount of medication in order to compete at BN level, I would seriously doubt if that horse really ought to be competing at all. I would most assuredly keep the drug testing rules. USEF doesn't test nearly as much as it should in my opinion in eventing. Do away with everything BUT that since it is the only thing we have (we don't have jog ups for soundness in horse trials like the CCI's) to protect the animal from abuses. Drug testing is a way of keeping the playing field level for all and most of all, keeping it safe and humane for the horses, without which where would we all be?
Just my .02.

retreadeventer
Jan. 19, 2008, 06:21 PM
I haven't read the whole thread, so forgive me for asking a question that has already been answered or described.

What kind of scheduling do unrecognized events tend to use in terms of opening and closing dates, and how do they handle waiting lists, event cancellations and horse withdrawls? Are these aspects also more convenient/inexpensive compared to recognized events?

Wynn, in my area Jane Ward runs a few unrec. as well as Dennis Glaccum. Pretty much they follow USEA rules. In the case of wait lists and cancellations, these guys do maintain a sort of fairness doctrine -- both are very aware of customer relations and clearly state their policies beforehand if they think they might have a possiblity of a wait list, or a cancellation. In Jane's case, she doesn't run events during dicey weather seasons -- sticks mostly to summer -- and doesn't have to cancel, same for Dennis -- being unrecognized they are not tied to a calendar, they can hold them when THEY want. Jane runs enough that she only has one big event she usually has a wait list for and she clearly states her policy well ahead of time and has a very up to date website. She often has people who willingly enter the next coming horse trial while at the present horse trial competing to avoid being shut out.
They do use their own personal discretion if they want, but most of the time the decisions are pretty clear to just about anyone. You can substitute another horse usually pretty easily as long as they have a slot already set up for you.

The integrity of these people, and the others who put on unrec. events in other areas, it sounds like, are on par with the very best eventers and organizers I know. I trust Jane and Dennis' judgment completely. They know their customers very well.

retreadeventer
Jan. 19, 2008, 06:28 PM
Eventing used to be less of an elitist sport, 25-35 years ago, I think, and I also think that we need to salvage some portion of that attainability.
I`d sort of hoped we might do that within the auspices of the USEA, but I`m beginning to think that probably can`t happen.

Do you think that USEA might attempt to set up a rulebook to cover them? Or try to get them under the umbrella of recognized somehow? Why are they trying to get them in the fold? For what reason? (Dollar signs have anything to do with it?)

eventersmom
Jan. 19, 2008, 06:31 PM
I don't feel strongly about any of the cost-saving measures quoted, except one - the drug testing. Shame on anyone who says it isn't necessary or thinks it's ok to bute up the old campaigners to get them around under the newbie riders. Horrifying horsemanship! Drug testing is in place not to catch the cheaters, but to ensure the safety and welfare of every horse competing! It means you cannot overdo medication just to get an unsound horse thru a competition, for what? For the sake of competing? Any horse stepping foot in the start box needs to be SOUND. Period. If a horse needs a substantial amount of medication in order to compete at BN level, I would seriously doubt if that horse really ought to be competing at all. I would most assuredly keep the drug testing rules. USEF doesn't test nearly as much as it should in my opinion in eventing. Do away with everything BUT that since it is the only thing we have (we don't have jog ups for soundness in horse trials like the CCI's) to protect the animal from abuses. Drug testing is a way of keeping the playing field level for all and most of all, keeping it safe and humane for the horses, without which where would we all be?
Just my .02.

I'm not trying to stir the pot and I think I said before that I may be naive about these things but does this happen frequently at the lower levels? While I can't imagine throwing bute at a lame horse and asking them to compete I'm sure there are a few out there that do. If it is a common practice then doing away with the testing would be a great disservice to our horses.

flyingchange
Jan. 19, 2008, 07:22 PM
Shame on anyone who says it isn't necessary or thinks it's ok to bute up the old campaigners to get them around under the newbie riders. Horrifying horsemanship! Just my .02.

Who are you yelling at? What an accusation. Chill the &*^% out.

My line of reasoning with eradicating drug testing at BN/N has to do with the fact that the fences are so small that the horse does not have to put in very much effort, if any, to negotiate them. They don't need Bute to reduce pain in hocks and stifles, etc, so that they can rock back and clear a 3'6 fence. Therefore, I don't think there is as much chance of compeititors overdoing bute at these levels as there is at Prelim and up.

denny
Jan. 19, 2008, 07:51 PM
When the USEA was founded in 1959, its goal was the promotion of what was then a little known sport, and for years the USEA, then called the USCTA, catered to both the most entry level riders, while working closely with the then USET to make eventing survive, and eventually, to grow.
I first joined in 1962, its 3rd year, and my number was 63. I was the 63rd member, just to give you an idea of how small and fundamentally weak our sport was in those days.
Now, 46 years later, we are big and glamorous and prosperous, and we may be forgetting our original premise, which was to support all eventers and all events.
Because in my mind, that little kid on the backyard horse, or the beginner adult, with way more enthusiasm than ability, those were my contemporaries when I entered this sport, and they are just as worthy, in my mind, as the highly subsidized pros with their 15 big time horses, whose pictures now totally dominate the covers of our magazines.
So now these people find that the USEA is so irrelevant to their needs and aspirations that they won`t even join, and I can`t help wondering how it happened we, collectively, let them down.

scavenger
Jan. 19, 2008, 08:25 PM
I joined 10 years later than you Denny and I think then I was only #3__and something. I agree it seems to have lost/ failed/deviated from its original purpose. I think that partially it has become a victim of its success. One among many of the reasons I got "into" eventing then was its affordability. I enter an event for about $25.00 doable on babysitting money and opposed to a local horse show at $10-15.00 a class. It was also more fun! I did not feel out of place coming in my borrowed rusty 25 year old trailer and with minimal tack and nothing much matching because most other people were the same. If I were to start out eventing now in those same circumstances i wouldn't/couldn't. A Pity!
I have organized an event at the unrecognised level for a couple of years that I think is as good as a lot of recognised events. We keep fees down by using L judges or peole going for L status or knowledgable people who have just never wanted to go though being liscenced. The sttadium judge is a local eventer and the TD is some one who has been around eventing for a while and has competed at least at Prelim. level. Admittedly it is put together by people with experience running/designing recognized events so it is good and safe. We do follow dress rules and have an emt on the grounds and are 2 mins from the local volunteer ambulance company. The event has given many people who otherwise would not have done it their start eventing and/ or judging and we have some people that it is the only event they ever do. WE all have fun though

evntr06
Jan. 19, 2008, 08:46 PM
As a BN rider who can only afford a couple of events per year, the usefulness of belonging to USEA is unclear. They charge $82 for competing member, that would be $40 per event just so that I would be able to compete in one! At least as a BN rider I have an option of paying only $25 per event, but I also think that this is a bit much for low-budget competitors. I am sure they would rather put that $80 towards another unrecognized event or a clinic. Since a kid on a backyard horse or beginner adult on a budget who don't really care of moving up through the ranks to the top of the sport probably don't really care if their horse and them are in the national database. So the value of belonging to USEA for them is very little, and yet it is very expensive. That's why I would think you will likely find those people in unrecognized events. They still have fun, get to show their horses but without the extra expense of belonging to a national organization.

Now, pros who always have horses for sale, compete in 10 or more events per year, or people who are ambitious about their riding and progressing through the ranks, have probably much more to gain from being USEA member, and I feel that USEA really caters to those who can and want to move up through the ranks.

I also think that sometimes it is impossible for big national organization cator to "us, little people", the way large corporations cannot cator to each individual employee. Once you reach a certain size, your goals and mode of operation has to change in order to be effective at a larger scale, and that's what USEA became. So, I don't believe that it would be possible for USEA to do what it used to do when it only had 63 members.

However, there are local combined training organizations (on state and local level) who in fact cator to those low level, shoe string budget competitor. Their annual fee would be about $20-$30 and their shows would be small and affordable - exactly what those competitors need.

As long as small local shows and affordable organizations are out there supporting low-level budget riders, I feel confident that eventing is not going to be "elitist" sport and will be accessable to many - just maybe not on USEA level.

Janet
Jan. 19, 2008, 08:56 PM
Who are you yelling at? What an accusation. Chill the &*^% out.

My line of reasoning with eradicating drug testing at BN/N has to do with the fact that the fences are so small that the horse does not have to put in very much effort, if any, to negotiate them. They don't need Bute to reduce pain in hocks and stifles, etc, so that they can rock back and clear a 3'6 fence. Therefore, I don't think there is as much chance of compeititors overdoing bute at these levels as there is at Prelim and up.
First-There are other drugs besides bute.

Of the handful of eventer D&M related suspensions I can remember, at least one was at BN or N, and it was NOT for bute.

Second, when Spy's hip arthritis is bothering him, he will stop at a BN sized jump. The height the fnece isn't really the issue. If it hurts to jump, it hurts to jump.

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Jan. 19, 2008, 09:45 PM
Don't have anything like a fully formed thought here, but wondering if ther might be a way to sanction a local tier of events - perhaps events run on grounds which host a recognized event at another time in the year, or organized by a "recognized organizer" - which might waive some of the CD/drug test/TD requirements and $$.

Thinking for folks in the know, it's easy enough to find out that events run at X facility are high quality though unrecognized, while events at some other facility are less similar to recognized events.

Of course the million dollar question is what criteria seperates the former from the latter? Is it predictable according to the venue or the organizer, or does it really all just depend on individual circumstances? Would an organizers forum be a reasonable place for unrecognized events to recieve sanction or not, or would that be a hotbed of undercurrents and subtexts??

flyingchange
Jan. 19, 2008, 09:57 PM
[quote]First-There are other drugs besides bute.

No! Really?


Of the handful of eventer D&M related suspensions I can remember, at least one was at BN or N, and it was NOT for bute.

OK, what was it for then? An NSAID? Please let's not be obtuse here. When I say "bute," I mean pain/inflamation killers.

[quote]Second, when Spy's hip arthritis is bothering him, he will stop at a BN sized jump. The height the fnece isn't really the issue. If it hurts to jump, it hurts to jump.[quote]

I honestly did not realize so many people were trying to jump their lame-should-not-be-jumped horses around.

galwaybay
Jan. 19, 2008, 09:59 PM
[QUOTE=.

My line of reasoning with eradicating drug testing at BN/N has to do with the fact that the fences are so small that the horse does not have to put in very much effort, if any, to negotiate them. They don't need Bute to reduce pain in hocks and stifles, etc, so that they can rock back and clear a 3'6 fence. Therefore, I don't think there is as much chance of compeititors overdoing bute at these levels as there is at Prelim and up.[/QUOTE]

Am I the only one who is not assuming that BN and N are filled w/ old campaigners. What about the OPEN divisions for green horses? To differentiate between the divisions would be IMO a nightmare for event secretaries/staff.

Janet
Jan. 19, 2008, 09:59 PM
If we are talking about identifying "good" unrecognized events, one possible criteria is-

At least one licensed official- either the chief dressage judge or the TD must be licensed, but not necessarily both.

Janet
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:02 PM
No! Really?


OK, what was it for then? An NSAID? Please let's not be obtuse here. When I say "bute," I mean pain/inflamation killers. . Albuterol.

Janet
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:10 PM
Second, when Spy's hip arthritis is bothering him, he will stop at a BN sized jump. The height the fnece isn't really the issue. If it hurts to jump, it hurts to jump.

I honestly did not realize so many people were trying to jump their lame-should-not-be-jumped horses around.
You seem to be deliberately missing the point.

You seem to think that a horse with hind end arthritis is going to be able to comfortably jump 2'7" (without NSAIDs), but not able to comfortably jump 3'6".

That is NOT my experience. If it "hurts to jump", it "hurts to jump", whether it is 2'7" or 3'7".

If the horse needs NSAID to jump 3'7" comfortably , it needs NSAID to jump 2'7 comfortably.

retreadeventer
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:18 PM
Well then the Areas need to step up and recognize the little events then and provide the place for the Great Unwashed in our sport. Why not have some kind of recognition or help from the area level? Can't there be layers? Does every TD have to be a USEA/USEF TD? Can't we have Area TD's? sort of like the little r, big R thing? And these people not quite have to go thru the system but could be appointed or recognized for their experience and ability in another way. That would bring people who organize unrecog. events into the fold.?

Denny we can't go back to the way it was 20-30 years ago much as we'd like. We have to go forward and find the way. Nobody rides in open fields any more, that is why we have these itty bitty jump divisions, baby pre beginner novice, etc. because there is no practice anywhere anymore jumping in the open. To be truthful, this level isn't really eventing - yet. We know that. It's just a raggedy hunter show if the truth be told. Not that that is a bad thing, it's not, the unrec. are great for their purpose, which is introducing the sport. We love our unrec. events. USEA has not morphed with this side of the sport, this is true. It's sort of like USEA is an ipod, and the unrec. events are like a big brass marching band. They just don't fit with each other well.

LookinSouth
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:23 PM
In Vermont where I live through most of the competition year there seems to exist a thriving circuit of unrecognized events, ranging from "grasshopper", essentially little logs to trot over, right up to training.
I also think that although there is a fair degree of crossover, many riders ONLY compete unrecognized.
I`m guessing this is mainly expense related, and probably also because of what we might call "the intimidation" factor of sanctioned events.
Whatever the reason, many of these events are full to bursting, with 90-110 entries for a one day event, sometimes more.
.

I think your onto something Denny :winkgrin:

I am in CT and attended 4 absolutely wonderful unsanctioned events last year! All of them were very well attended and many had waiting lists.
Lord Creek Farm in Old Lyme, CT according to my trainer is THE BEST run event in New England even in comparison to the sanctioneds. The grounds are absolutely spectacular too. I can say it definitely was more than well worth my 75.00 dollars in entry fees!!!

The most I paid for entry fees was 90.00 and that included all three phases and all fees.

To me as a lower level rider just starting out in eventing one of the most daunting costs is joining USEA and USEF. If BN/N events were more affordable that would be great!!
The costs make it hard for us working ammy's to attend very many. I will only be able to attend 3 or maybe 4 if I'm lucky this year. I've even thought about just sticking to the unsanctioneds because the series I did last year had good competition and nice year end awards.

In addition, Mystic Valley Hunt Club in CT holds a rated BN,N horsetrial every spring and a unrated in the fall. I volunteered at the rated and competed at the unrated. There was absolutely no difference whatesoever that I noticed in quality of the event so it might be interesting to compare how they were able to run the same quality unsanctioned for considerably less money.

kt-rose
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:35 PM
And one more thing.

What I'd really like to see is INVITING COURSES at BN and N. An inviting course is straightforward fences without a 99-cents stores' worth of adornments. Really, leave the life-sized stuffed dummies at home -- I saw this several times last year and wanted to congratulate the horses who simply refused to jump a lifelike human form. Don't put huge sinister grinning jack o'lantern faces on the jump wings at eye level. Don't put tiger-striped fabric over the planks on a show jump (predator patterns disrupt horses' vision).

This is basic stuff. If you want to deck out UL fences, fine. Those horses have already learned that it doesn't matter what's around the jump. But how the heck are you going to teach your horse this if every obstacle has a big effin' surprise?

I agree 110%!!! Well said!! I don't mind spending the money but I do mind getting there to give my youngster an educational outing and having a BN course dressed up like a Grand Prix course at Upperville. The courses need to be inviting so that a decently prepared youngster gets around and learns something.

AKB
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:39 PM
Janet,

I guess I need to read the rulebook again before anyone in our family rejoins USEA. I would not have expected albuterol to be an issue at prenovice. What is one supposed to do if you sign up the healthy but sometimes allergic horse for an event, the pollen or mold proliferates that day, and he starts coughing? We have horse with allergies who takes clenbuterol/Ventipulmin at times. I don't think I would be willing to put him on inhaled steroids for weeks before an event to prevent the possibility of him needing clenbuterol on the day of the event. I certainly would not let him compete without giving him medication if he started coughing or wheezing. Letting him cough or wheeze seems cruel, as well as unsafe. I guess this means that he, and the daughter who rides him, should not compete. I am happy to hear that he can safely get a one time 2gm dose of bute before competing. He isn't normally on bute, but sometimes stiffens up on long trailer rides. Where can I find the list of approved doses of medication that you used to say that a one time dose of 2gm of bute is ok?

Janet
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:46 PM
Janet,

I guess I need to read the rulebook again before anyone in our family rejoins USEA.
...
Where can I find the list of approved doses of medication that you used to say that a one time dose of 2gm of bute is ok?
It is the USEF Drugs and Medications pamphlet
On the USEF web site, select "Rules", then "Drugs and Medications", the "2007 USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Pamphlet "

http://www.usef.org/documents/competitions/2007/2007DrugsMedsGuidelines.pdf

denny
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:50 PM
Here`s an example I was once given, and I can`t remember who told me, but it was about labor unions.
Labor unions were almost always created to help right various wrongs, and to help the little guy in his/her struggle against big business, whatever.
But then something usually happens. At some point, as the union gets bigger and stronger, it begins to take on a different role. You can only do such and such if you are a member, you can`t do this without joining and paying. In other words, that which started as inclusionary starts to become exclusionary.
Now I don`t equate the USEA with labor unions, but there are valid analogies, not the least of which is that the really little guys, baby novice, minnow, grasshopper, whatever, aren`t considered real eventing by the association whose stated mission is to promote the sport.
And maybe this is ok, and inevitable. Maybe these riders need to be below the USEA radar for a while, until they reach a certain level, but maybe that`s exactly what happens with unions, and not ok.
I honestly don`t know. What I do know is that the riders at these events think of themselves as eventers, even if our sport`s associations don`t recognize them as such.

Janet
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:52 PM
Originally Posted by JER http://chronicleforums.com/Forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?p=2946374#post2946374)
And one more thing.

What I'd really like to see is INVITING COURSES at BN and N. An inviting course is straightforward fences without a 99-cents stores' worth of adornments. Really, leave the life-sized stuffed dummies at home -- I saw this several times last year and wanted to congratulate the horses who simply refused to jump a lifelike human form. Don't put huge sinister grinning jack o'lantern faces on the jump wings at eye level. Don't put tiger-striped fabric over the planks on a show jump (predator patterns disrupt horses' vision).

This is basic stuff. If you want to deck out UL fences, fine. Those horses have already learned that it doesn't matter what's around the jump. But how the heck are you going to teach your horse this if every obstacle has a big effin' surprise?

I guess it depends on where you are, but the "decorations" are what I WANT my young horse to deal with at a BN course. I can school over "plain" fences every weekend.

I WANT my horse to learn "it doesn't matter what's around the jump" when the jumps are still low enough to jump from a walk.

In fact, I have been known to (politely) complain to the organizer when the BN fences are not decorated.

If you are in a place where there are few schooloing opportunities, I can see that it would be different.

scavenger
Jan. 19, 2008, 11:02 PM
just to be obnoxious and picky though. decorations really aren't cross country but glorified show jumping. where really going across the country would you see fences decorated wiht flowers etc./ Now of course if one were to gallop through a flower garden you would. I prefer to see more"natural" cross country fences with only those decorated where it makes sense such as a flower stand or a duck blind (these seem to have gone out of fashion because the corn rustling scares the horses) or such and the others left more natural. More the sense of what it is supposed to be.

Janet
Jan. 19, 2008, 11:09 PM
Janet,
What is one supposed to do if you sign up the healthy but sometimes allergic horse for an event, the pollen or mold proliferates that day, and he starts coughing? We have horse with allergies who takes clenbuterol/Ventipulmin at times. I don't think I would be willing to put him on inhaled steroids for weeks before an event to prevent the possibility of him needing clenbuterol on the day of the event. I certainly would not let him compete without giving him medication if he started coughing or wheezing. Letting him cough or wheeze seems cruel, as well as unsafe.
You need to check with your vet for what medications you CAN legally give. I haven't had to deal with respiratory problems, so I do not know what the legal options are, but I am sure ther are some.

Janet
Jan. 19, 2008, 11:11 PM
just to be obnoxious and picky though. decorations really aren't cross country but glorified show jumping. where really going across the country would you see fences decorated wiht flowers etc./ Now of course if one were to gallop through a flower garden you would. I prefer to see more"natural" cross country fences with only those decorated where it makes sense such as a flower stand or a duck blind (these seem to have gone out of fashion because the corn rustling scares the horses) or such and the others left more natural. More the sense of what it is supposed to be.
Yes.

But if we ARE going to have to deal with decorations at Training, I want them at BN too, so the horse gets used to them.

Janet
Jan. 19, 2008, 11:13 PM
The OTHER drug I remember seeing in conjunction with penalties for eventers is fluphenazine.

And I REALLY want to make sure there aren't and BN and N horses going around with THAT.

JER
Jan. 19, 2008, 11:52 PM
But if we ARE going to have to deal with decorations at Training, I want them at BN too, so the horse gets used to them.

My point is that there's a point where decorations jump the shark, so to speak.

If you have a truly green horse at BN, there's going to be enough exciting scenery at the HT without so much as a stick of greenery near the obstacle. The decorations on the other levels' obstacles will do the job just fine. Ditto for the spectators, jump judges, barking dogs, screaming trainers, food tent, PA speakers and other horses on course. There's enough novelty just being there.

Many riders do not have much access to schooling facilities due to time, distance, transportation issues, instruction issues and availability. BN is meant to be an introductory level.

BN should be -- above all else -- inviting. The only "question" at BN should be if the horse can jump a simple, straightforward obstacle. BN shouldn't demand perfection, just a good flowing introduction to trotting and cantering over natural obstacles.

A BN horse shouldn't have to confront stuff like life-sized deer statues or dog houses with big stuffed dogs in them yet I've seen both of these placed at the ends of jumps on BN XC courses. Yes, you can practice this at home but only if you know about it in advance. A good XC horse also needs to learn how to look after himself and a smart horse is not going to gallop right up to either of these things at first glance.

(Janet, I spend a lot of time with my young horses showing them new things. I've done endurance and gone to trails trials and police horse clinics with firecrackers and hanging streamers and giant inflatable holiday creatures. But my goals at these events are not the same as my goals on XC the first few times out.)

evntr06
Jan. 19, 2008, 11:53 PM
Here`s an example I was once given, and I can`t remember who told me, but it was about labor unions.
Labor unions were almost always created to help right various wrongs, and to help the little guy in his/her struggle against big business, whatever.
But then something usually happens. At some point, as the union gets bigger and stronger, it begins to take on a different role. You can only do such and such if you are a member, you can`t do this without joining and paying. In other words, that which started as inclusionary starts to become exclusionary.
Now I don`t equate the USEA with labor unions, but there are valid analogies, not the least of which is that the really little guys, baby novice, minnow, grasshopper, whatever, aren`t considered real eventing by the association whose stated mission is to promote the sport.
And maybe this is ok, and inevitable. Maybe these riders need to be below the USEA radar for a while, until they reach a certain level, but maybe that`s exactly what happens with unions, and not ok.
I honestly don`t know. What I do know is that the riders at these events think of themselves as eventers, even if our sport`s associations don`t recognize them as such.

I think USEA's management would really need to decide whether they want to be an all-inclusive organization for any level rider or somewhat "elitist" organization that promotes aspiring top level riders and national/international competitions, and I think it is currently the latter. I don't see anything wrong with that as long as the rest of the "folk" has their own local organizations and local shows that they can compete in and enjoy.

If USEA really decides that it wants to "recognize" those pre-Novice eventers then it can do so by creating a "local" level of competition, or "non-qualifying" level of competition, so that you cannot use those events as qualifying to national championships, and then they would not have to run under ALL of USEA rules, and those competitions could be made more affordable like those currently unrecognized horse trial. In that case, USEA would acknowledge those people as "eventers" if it really wants to, and at the same time leave the "recognized" competitions with their current requirements as "qualifying competitions". But, I'm not really sure whether that type of all - inclusiveness is really needed for beginners in the sport. Personally, I could care less whether some big organization recognizes me as an eventer or not. All I want to do is go out and have fun on my horse at a show, learn something, push myself above my every day limits and be reasonably safe doing it. And hopefully not go bancrupt doing it. :)

In hunters, jumpers and dressage there are many unrecognized or schooling shows that are put on very cheaply ($15/class) and are at the lower levels, and they are very accessible and affordable. And those who are capable/ambitious enough go on to recognized BIG shows and pay BIG money. And I think this is where eventing is going to end up. I don't know whether it is good or bad, it is the way it is.

I don't think this situation necessarily hurts lower-level non-ambitious competitor, but I think it does hurt good riders who have what it takes to get to the top except for money. Its kind of hard to move up the levels if you can't afford recognized competitions!

thumbsontop
Jan. 20, 2008, 08:42 AM
Because in my mind, that little kid on the backyard horse, or the beginner adult, with way more enthusiasm than ability, those were my contemporaries when I entered this sport, and they are just as worthy, in my mind, as the highly subsidized pros with their 15 big time horses, whose pictures now totally dominate the covers of our magazines.
So now these people find that the USEA is so irrelevant to their needs and aspirations that they won`t even join, and I can`t help wondering how it happened we, collectively, let them down.

I don't agree that these people think the USEA is irrelevant. If anything, they are more enthused because they can compete at the same sport as the pros. Sure it's at a different level, but it's possible. There are plenty of eventers out there competing at the upper levels with OTTBs that were bought for a song. Get those stories out there. And more publicity showing lower cross country jumps wouldn't hurt either. Those big jumps are really scary!

If the purpose is to increase entries, my suggestion would be to aim for young teenagers at the lower levels rather than decrease prices. The YR program is great, but is not aimed for the "typical" young teen who is testing the waters. Many youngsters start at a h/j type barn and then at 10 or 11 start wanting riding to be a bit more challenging. Cross country is fascinating for these kids. So get them hooked. Start a program aimed at 12-18 yr olds that is for BN/N junior competitors. Clinics, year end points? Maybe reduced entries for the first year for these kids? And educate parents.

The USPC is great for hooking some of these kids but I don't think that there is enough recognized eventing encouragement. Perhaps enhancing that partnership would help. Offer Pony Club members significantly discounted entry fees - or maybe one a year at half price.

I don't think it's the money that's intimidating, I think it's more likely because the idea of eventing is overwhelming. We had one Pony Clubber who comes from a "jumper" family. Parents did ammy jumping for years, and they still heavily compete. Pony Club is just for something different for the kids. The son wanted to try a "real" event and competed at Rubicon last fall. Mom and dad were beside themselves trying to figure out the rules and how to be on time, etc. They did great and had a blast. Needless to say, the kid will be eventing in 2008!

Are you seeing that there are low entry numbers at lower levels? I can only speak for area II (and even that is limited), but in this area there may be just too many options. I look at the June omnibus and there are 3 that we'd love to go to, but we typically don't compete more than once a month. We'll have to choose. And the first thing we'll look for is which ones are scheduled all in one day. :D

Here's another thought. I don't have ANY knowledge in this area, but what are the rules on what makes someone a pro, and does that make a difference? Aren't some of them silly for the purposes of competition, like a vet or farrier? I don't know what limitations are imposed, if any, to these folks, but are they necessary at a BN/N level?

LookinSouth
Jan. 20, 2008, 09:00 AM
And more publicity showing lower cross country jumps wouldn't hurt either. Those big jumps are really scary!

?


As ridiculous as this seems it is so true! I had NO idea that competitive lower level eventing existed until a friend of mine told me about it. Why? Because I had only ridden at h/j and pleasure type barns and no one knew anything about eventing nor spoke of it.
Based on what I saw and read around me I pretty much thought eventing was for those crazy people that like to gallop over 4ft solid fences :lol: Needless to say at that time I wasn't even going to consider looking into eventing as a possible discipline for myself and my horse.

RunForIt
Jan. 20, 2008, 09:17 AM
In previous threads contrasting recognized and unrecognized events, we've discussed the merits of both types of events. Because I value my safety and my horse's safety, and need to learn while competing, I tend to go to unrecognized events put on by organizers who also do recognized shows: Poplar Place Farm, Pine Top Farm, Jumping Branch, Full Gallop, just to name a few in this area.

Janet's and others comments about horses receiving drugs even at BN/N has given me more to think about that aspect...I certainly couldn't run these days without all the ibupropen I take on a daily basis. At the same time, I have ways of monitoring the effect of that medication, the horse doesn't in the case of bute or other meds. Hard call, that one.

The cost of diesel keeps me home more now. Since I live at least 100 miles or more from all the event venues in Georgia and SC, the drive is going to cost the same no matter if the event is recognized or not! :cool:

Auburn
Jan. 20, 2008, 09:21 AM
Denny,

If you and anyone else who might be interested in well run mini trials would go to www.minitrialseries.org (http://www.minitrialseries.org), then click on the Prize List and Rules and Tests sections, then you will see how they do it in NE Ohio.

All of these events are well run. For BN, N, and T, South Farm and Stonegate are run over most of their recognized courses. These events are very affordable. Several BNT's use them to start their greenies. I used them to get my mare ready for recognized BN. We were well prepared to take that next step, too.

However, I believe that these events should NOT be under the watchful eyes and pocketbook of the USEA. If they are set up as well as the ones in NE Ohio, then the USEA would not be needed to potentially raise prices. JMHO. Auburn

UMass Director
Jan. 20, 2008, 09:41 AM
Denny brings up some very interesting points of lowering cost, and if you have been in the sport for a long time you can remember when entries were $15 and gas was $.36 (I'm only talking about the early 70's:D)

However in our time is it really nessessary of the competitors? We spend >$5K our horse, >$30K on our rigs; an entry fee of $120 6 to 8 times a year?

BUT IF I WERE A USEA BOARD MEMBER

I would strongly consider these points to try to keep registered events! The largest part of our membership are BN and N as is the number of entries. We should cater to those that DRIVE our sport NOT just to those that INSPIRE our sport (meaning the upper levels).

This is a strong marketing question. If you look at the number of entries and the costs associated with running Prelim and above as compared with Training and below, the entries should be quite different reflecting those costs. Our lower level membership is paying for the ability of our upper level membership to compete and for this very reason as a BOARD MEMBER I would have to take a strong look at this issue.

The other consideration I would make would be to the ORGANIZERS; how can we help them cover their costs and make money. Not all the events are dot org.s or generation farms, or on property that is owned by those of good fortune. If we are going to continue to grow our sport we need to encourage the farms that struggle to host and make it affordable for all. Otherwise we are going to see those venues host more jumper and dressage shows and clinics rather than events.

One CHANGE I would add, INCREASE THE FACE AMOUNT FOR LIABILITY INSURANCE for event hosts. If it were 5M or more some of these unrecoginzed events would look at the USEA more seriously for their events because they shoulder the cost of their own insurance due to the fact their face amount is higher.

pwynnnorman
Jan. 20, 2008, 10:04 AM
Didn't someone write somewhere (here or elsewhere) that there ARE professional event organizers who do make money at it? I wonder what their model is? How do they do it?

I'm also curious about how Horse Parks and other public venues influence affordability issues. Does anyone know? Is it cheaper to compete at (or organize an event at--this to anyone who is a pro organizer) publicly-funded venues vs. private ones?

For example, I notice how Appaloosa, Quarter Horse and Arabian breed shows held at the same public venue often charge far, far, FAR less for stalls than eventing, dressage or h-j competitions. Is this because of what the parent organization charges organizers to hold recognized competitions? Is this a possible area to explore in terms of lowering costs?

Edited to add: Another question--Do stabling and bedding charges help the bottom line such that there is a signficant economic advantage to running events over more than one day?

Auburn
Jan. 20, 2008, 10:09 AM
UMass Director,

If I am reading you clearly, you want to make it more difficult for un-recognized events to exist? Why? They are doing a great service for people who are starting young horses and to give starting eventers a taste of eventing. What is so bad about that? By raising their insurance premiums to 5M, you will not be bringing them into the USEA. You will be destroying them. Folks who cannot afford the $165 entry fee (good luck seeing a $120 entry fee in KY!), plus $100 for stabling, plus drug fees, plus bedding costs, will never be able to afford to event.

When I was doing the NEOMTS, I averaged spending $160, for the whole weekend. This included the entry fee, schooling the x-country the day before, gas there and home, and stabling (with bedding included). Please show me an USEA sanctioned event, except for JFS's events, where you can do this.

If I mis-read your intent, then please forgive me and this post. Otherwise, please respond. Auburn

pwynnnorman
Jan. 20, 2008, 10:36 AM
Y'know, there may be a false assumption here: that unrecognized events would even welcome the idea of being recognized by USEA.

Would they? Why? Is it realistic to expect USEA to even try to offer unrecognized events assistance (of whatever kind) to entice them to join the fold? Or would it be more practical to find means or messages to entice unrecognized eventers to join the (USEA) fold?

Fact is the USEA could use the $$$ from all those unrecognized eventers. But what can USEA do for them to either earn that $$$ or just justify it being spent? I wish reality were different such that LLRs could recognize some stake they have in ULRs, but that disconnect is real. I think way back when, there was a lot more "I support the sport" sentiment out there, whereas now there is more "I support my sport". It's a huge philosophical difference, alas, and I can't imagine things going back to the way they were (like back when horses were donated to the team, for example). It goes right along with more people wanting to ride their horses themselves instead of watch pros ride them, which has changed saddleseat and hunter showing a heck of lot, too.

One thing's for sure: USEA might do well to show how much it spends on the upper vs. lower levels. If the budget highly favors the lower levels, that'd be an awfully useful message to get out there, given the possible misconceptions that are so often expressed about that.

JFS
Jan. 20, 2008, 01:53 PM
Actually there is a way that the lower than Beginner Novice competitors can ride at a recognized event and they are called 'tests' and USEA membership and starter fees are not charged. At our fall event where we do offer a 'starter test' which is comparable to the Baby Beginner Novice 2' division that is offered and our unrecognized event in the summer. Because it is a 'test' I don't need to use licensed judges for all phases, so for scheduling purposes the Starters do their show when the licensed judge is on break and is judged by a person who is familar and comfortable with the rules.

Interestingly enough, although I only charge $10 more for the starter test at the recognized event I get very few repeat competitors from the unrecognized event. So maybe the intimidation factor is more real than imagined. I don't know.

But this also brings up another topic and that is show jump judges. A few years back when I was the Chair of the Organizers' Committee I tried to get through an eventing show jump license only that would be relatively easy and cost effective for individuals to do the training for. If events could have their own "in house" or at least 'local' stadium judge it would save hundreds of dollars a year in fees, travel, motel and airport runs. For those events who are located in the eventing meccas; they didn't see any need for this but for many who don't live where there are many licensed officials, it would be a big benifit not only in finances but in flexibility it would give you in scheduling especially if dressage and show jumping are run on the same day. The Pres. of the Ground Jury and the TD would still inspect the courses, but the actual judging would be done by these trained stadium only judges. Often times, if cross country is not being run at the same time as show jumping, the TD spends most of his/her time at show jumping anyway.

Unfortunately this idea was shot down by the USEA officials committee saying that the USEF Licensed Officials Committee (LOC) would never approve it. I tried...

Many organizers run both recognized and unrecognized events and we do a good job regardless of it's status, but we have no intention of running our unrecognized events as recognized events because it would defeat the purpose. Which is ??? They are less stressful, more profitable and competitors are more appreciative.

gillenwaterfarm
Jan. 20, 2008, 03:13 PM
I'll echo Run For It's comments about what venues I'll show at. I prefer to utilize facilities who hold schooling and recognized shows, like Poplar Place, because you know the quality of the course is "recognized" and therefore conforming to set standards. I also like that I can "school" the course before I show there recognized. That said, Poplar is a 5 hour haul from me, the next closest being BREC in LA. It's not the cost of the show that creates a problem for me, it's the time away from home and the distance to get there...Nothing the USEA can create a solution for.

What would I change if I were a board member? Nothing. If I want something "lower" or cheaper then recognized BN, I'll attend schooling HT's. Recognized, for me, is going big time. It's my chance to test my preparation and skill against those who are better then I am, under the judging and direction of people who know more then I do. :)

What would I suggest to the organizers? Let BN run all three phases on Sundays so we (Adult Ammy's and Juniors) don't have to skip out on work or school to get there, show, and get home. You can always go in tired on Monday. ;)

UMass Director
Jan. 20, 2008, 03:38 PM
UMass Director,

If I am reading you clearly, you want to make it more difficult for un-recognized events to exist? Why? They are doing a great service for people who are starting young horses and to give starting eventers a taste of eventing. What is so bad about that? By raising their insurance premiums to 5M, you will not be bringing them into the USEA. You will be destroying them. Folks who cannot afford the $165 entry fee (good luck seeing a $120 entry fee in KY!), plus $100 for stabling, plus drug fees, plus bedding costs, will never be able to afford to event.

When I was doing the NEOMTS, I averaged spending $160, for the whole weekend. This included the entry fee, schooling the x-country the day before, gas there and home, and stabling (with bedding included). Please show me an USEA sanctioned event, except for JFS's events, where you can do this.

If I mis-read your intent, then please forgive me and this post. Otherwise, please respond. Auburn

Auburn, I am not trying to discourage the unrecognized events at all, I encourage them and the more there are the more our sport grows.:)

What I was responding to was Denny's question to IF YOU WERE A USEA BOARD MEMBER WHAT WOULD YOU THINK.....
If the USEA wants to grow its membership and event representation I am saying it's liability policy is too small to encourage unrecognized events to become recognized (in other words what do they get for their money for becoming USEA?). I am also saying the unrecognized events find they can get a better policy (5M,private as opposed to 1M, USEA) on their own so why should they incur all the extra expenses of the USEA just to get their name in the omnibus, heck they are alrady full!

In reading your response and others I also think it would be best to run the lower levels as 1 day HT to keep expenses down. I also see the HUGE benefit of running a schooling day the day before as you had described, something the currently cannot be done in a USEA sanctioned event. AGAIN A CONSIDERATION OF RULE CHANGE FOR THE LOWERE LEVELS by the USEA if they want to grow their representation.

My point for support of USEA sanctioned events is the rules (over many years of experience) make these events safer. Having said that, I'm sure that most unrecognized use the USEA rules and stucture as guidelines for how to run their event and build their courses, making them very reasonably safe and well run.

scavenger
Jan. 20, 2008, 03:45 PM
In fact from an amateur point of view, I would prefer to have my events at whatever level have all three phases on one day. The exception being championships or other special occasions. Once upon a time I did as a amateur compete 2 horses at prelim and even though it could get chaotic by myself preferred to do it in one day. Less need to take vacation time form work (which is also sick time), less money for stabling or gas if event is close, extra time to get ready or clean up if evet is on sat or sun etc. I know events got in to doing this to allow more entries but perhaps the could do divisions by day rather than phases.

LookinSouth
Jan. 20, 2008, 03:45 PM
However in our time is it really nessessary of the competitors? We spend >$5K our horse, >$30K on our rigs; an entry fee of $120 6 to 8 times a year?

.


Well the problem is horse ownership coupled with rig ownership these days is so expensive that all those "unneccessary" extras REALLY add up quick. Especially since most ammys that compete at the recognized also have to drop a pretty penny on lessons to be competitive.
It doesn't cost much to just load up the horse on the rig and spend the day at a hunter pace, trail ride, cubbing or just go school XC somewhere and hack. I know alot of people that DON'T compete at all because of the costs associated with it and they get alot of enjoyment out of their horses just sticking to the activities I mentioned above and it's easy on their wallet.

And I agree with the other poster that most of the USEA Area I events I've seen are upwards of 150.00 just to compete. That's in comparison to the 75.00-90.00 we pay around here for nice unsanctioneds. Don't know about you but the additional 60.00 to go rated is alot of money to spend on sport/hobby in this economy especially as a young adult ammy such as myself just scraping by.

UMass Director
Jan. 20, 2008, 03:49 PM
Many organizers run both recognized and unrecognized events and we do a good job regardless of it's status, but we have no intention of running our unrecognized events as recognized events because it would defeat the purpose. Which is ??? They are less stressful, more profitable and competitors are more appreciative.


This is a model that I personally really like. Events that run both. This way the grounds and courses get a chance for imput from licensed officals at least once a year AND it gives the facility a chance to make more $ in a more relaxed atmosphere. For the facility there is the benefit of getting the coverage by the USEA and some name recognition, though I don't know how much that is a factor or unrecognized events as I assume it is more of a local clientel.

Janet
Jan. 20, 2008, 05:44 PM
Edited to add: Another question--Do stabling and bedding charges help the bottom line such that there is a signficant economic advantage to running events over more than one day?
Stabling is rarely profit making .

However, if you are going to have (temporary) stabling AT ALL, you have a bunch of fixed costs, so you need to make sure you have enough people stabling to cover those fixed costs. If you have just 5 people stabling, you are going to either lose money, or have to charge VERY HIGH stabling fees. If it costs (hypothetically) $2000 to rent and set up a block of 20 stalls, you can charge $100 per stall if you know you are going to fill the stable. But if you only get 5 people stabling, you either have to charge $400 per stall, or lose a lot of money.

Years ago, when we ran the entire CDTCA HT at ShowDay/ Commonwealth Park, we (the organizers) were required to pay (the facility) for a minumim of X (IIIRC X was 50, but it might have been more) stalls, whether they were used or not. So we organized the schedule to encourage at least 50 people to stable.

Auburn
Jan. 20, 2008, 06:12 PM
UMass Director,

I really do appreciate your response. I did misunderstand your meaning. Because all of those NEOMTS mini trials are run so well, I got a bit defensive. They are wonderful confidence builders. I hope that more recognized venues will take your words to heart. Having mini trials can be a way for them to make extra money and ensure that a new crop of eventers will become hooked on the sport. :yes: Auburn

RunForIt
Jan. 20, 2008, 06:36 PM
Janet, I agree that stabling is rarely a profit maker, but consider this, what if an event has always at least added to the cofers with stabling, and in the recent years seen more folks come in as "ship-ins"? there goes a source of revenue. Just such a scenario has recently been discussed here on the BB in terms of snow-birds and a big-time event here in the southland...it does happen, in a big way.

SmallHerd
Jan. 20, 2008, 07:23 PM
I agree with so many of the comments and suggestions here, and really appreciate Denny asking the hard questions. Instead of going over all the posts point by point, I will just add my 2 cents.

As an adult re-rider and parent of a former hunter princess, I do not think of eventing as an expensive or an elitist sport. I remember spending close to $1,000 for a hunter show (trainer fees, stabling, schooling, entries, trailering fees, etc.). So the cost to complete at the lower levels, particularly at the unrecognized events, does not bother me.

What IS expensive is everything else that goes along with horse ownership and competing - board, truck, trailer, vet, farrier, etc.

What does bother me is the incorrect perception that eventing is all about riding like a crazed horse person, hell bent for leather, and that all the events have jumps taller than me! I had NO idea there were mini events and lower levels at recognized events. These truly need to be advertised!

And here in my part of the midwest, there are VERY few trainers that have the experience and can teach all 3 phases. I was lucky that I had met someone a few years ago, remembered her and called her about helping me with one of my horses. That started a conversation, found out she teaches adults and also runs a pony club, and YES would love to help me.

So I continue along the path of mini events and maybe one day will be able to compete at a recognized event, but in the meantime, I do not feel the need to join the USEA (I looked into it and do not see any benefit for me at this time) and will continue to have a wonderful time doing my 1-day mini's for under $150.00.

izzy
Jan. 22, 2008, 10:34 AM
Late post I know, and never a popular idea.

Drop the formal wear. I can not think of another sport which is so incredibly rigid about what to wear and refuses to evolve into something more practical, affordable, comfortable and sporty.

The expense of buying a jacket which is not incredibly uncomfortable is downright prohibitive for me. And the stock tie? Why? To add to my frustration and looking ridiculous? The formal wear does not do very much for the image to the casual observer. My friends have asked me why on earth I would wear a business jacket for any sport, and pay large amounts of money to do so.

Putting money into a good helmet (or the replacements when I take a good fall), boots, etc. is far preferable. To get the outfit for a novice event is prohibitive for some people.

OK I'll get off my soapbox and I know that this will not change.

Speedy
Jan. 22, 2008, 11:35 AM
I'm trying to understand the rationale behind the proposed recognition of the lowest levels (e.g. grasshoper, baby BN, etc.)...it seems that recognizing these levels will result in increased expenses for the USEA, increased expenses for the organizers of currently recognized events (many of whom don't run unreconized as well and therefore do not already have courses that are that small), increased expenses for the organizers of unrecognized/schooling events (many of whom currently host events on courses that may be small, but that don't even remotely meet the design and build standards that make the fences safe/safer to jump) and, ultimately, increased expenses for the competitors to whom the other expenses will be passed on. I love the fact that there are unrecognized events to choose from, but I just don't see the merits of "bringing them into the fold" as it were, particularly if the people who attend those events are happy with the way they are being run.

subk
Jan. 22, 2008, 12:11 PM
If the USEA wants to promote the sport by investing in what is now the unrecognized hinterlands, instead of "bringing them into the fold" why don't they simply have a listing of unrecognized events with location and contact info at a bare minimal cost to the organizers. Nothing as complex a full blown omnibus listing. They could be considered USEA "identified events." No promises of standards or maybe just a bare minimum of standards. Maybe it's just a web listing or a simple list in the omnibus.

If this listing is kept in the Omnibus then a USEA membership has value to the unrecognized participants who avoid joining because they don't believe it offers them anything. Perhaps they could have a minimum membership that includes an Omnibus and the Eventing Magazine but not competing rights. The beauty of that is you have your target audience right there in your grasp.

The USEA by investing in the unrecognized promotes and grows the sport that will overtime increase participation in the recognized. It also might be a way to identify and encourage organizers who might then be nurtured into organizing a recognized event.


Stabling is rarely profit making .

Not so.

When the event/organizer owns the venue and the venue has its own stabling it can be the most profitable part of the event. Here in Area III we have Poplar Place, River Glen and Pine Top--all significant facilities that hold multiple events a year with permanent stabling. So not so rare around here.

rivenoak
Jan. 22, 2008, 12:25 PM
Some questions for those who would like the lower levels run on one day at a HT.
And, please, I mean these with no snarkiness. I truly would like your feedback. :yes:
I'm a new HT secretary in 2008; having previously been a competitor and a chief scorer for 3 HT in 2007
1) Do you mean that in conjunction with the other levels running over 2 or 3 days, you'd like BN/N to run 1 day at a particular HT?
2) Have you seen this done before? If so, what was good/bad about it? If not, how do you envision it working?
3) Do you volunteer at HTs?
4) Have you ever worked in the scoring office of an HT?

Are these loaded questions? Yes.

Do I think running BN/N over one day while the other levels go over two or three days is feasible. No, but I'm willing to listen to ideas. I'm hoping someone will give me a lot to consider.

Auburn
Jan. 22, 2008, 12:32 PM
Lost Hounds PC and Erie run their BN/N on Saturday, while Training and Prelim are on 2 days. They are in Area VIII. You might ask them how they do it.

Auburn

Avra
Jan. 22, 2008, 12:51 PM
Around here, it's not uncommon to run multiple divisions on different schedules. For example, here's MCTA's schedule from last year:
Thurs: CIC3* Competitor dinner & briefing 6:00 pm. Cross‑country course open-3:00 pm.
Fri: 8:00 am-Young Horse Test, 4yo & 5yo. 8:00 am- CIC3* Dressage. 8:00 am-Advanced Dressage. 8:00 am- Inter Dressage. 12 Noon-Advanced and CIC3* Show Jumping. 10:00 am-Intermediate Show Jumping
Sat: 8:00 am-Intermediate Cross-country. 10:00 am-CIC3* & Advanced Cross-country. All Novice: Dressage-7:00 am; Show Jumping‑10:00 am, Cross-country-12 Noon. Preliminary: Dressage-1:00 pm; Show Jumping-3:00 pm.
Sun: Preliminary: Cross-country-8:00 am; All Training: Dressage-7:00 am; Show Jumping-10:00 am; Cross-country- 12 Noon. Schedule may be adjusted as entries warrant.

And yeah, I did volunteer--though not with the scoring, since I am numbers-challenged. And yeah, it was really, really a long weekend--with 400+ competitors--but it can be done.

subk
Jan. 22, 2008, 12:57 PM
Some questions for those who would like the lower levels run on one day at a HT.
Do you invision the problem being that any division is in one day or that you have some are in one day and some in 2/3? In Great Britian one day trials are standard operating prceedure--for all levels. Seems to me that the only difference in a dressage/xc on sat and stadium on sun HT is that novice starts dressage first and XC first then does stadium late in the day when the upper leves are doing XC. Yes, you need a good score collection system for XC and some extra scoring manpower, but that doesn't make it impossible.

(Of course the ULRs will complain about not being done by noon--but then the whole concept that an event is being run for someone else's convience might be a new concept for many of them...)

And yes, I've volunteered. Since the late 70s I've held just about every job--including organizer.

Speedy
Jan. 22, 2008, 01:31 PM
HTs are frequently run on a 1 day schedule in Area II.

rivenoak
Jan. 22, 2008, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the feedback so far! I've got some researching to do. :) (Hello, Omnibus)

I'm interested to see how it's done to run different divisions on different time schedules over the same weekend:

1. From a scheduling point of view
2. From a manpower point of view
3. From a scorekeeping point of view; I'd like to know how they do it (which software, etc)

Say, for a HT offering BN through I.

Local schooling HTs I did were 1-day affairs. If I remember correctly, the x-c courses were shorter. And the stadium was in a tighter arena. That certainly makes a difference in scheduling and number entries that can be accepted.

Keep the info coming & thanks again! :yes:

LAZ
Jan. 22, 2008, 02:53 PM
Didn't someone write somewhere (here or elsewhere) that there ARE professional event organizers who do make money at it? I wonder what their model is? How do they do it?

I'm also curious about how Horse Parks and other public venues influence affordability issues. Does anyone know? Is it cheaper to compete at (or organize an event at--this to anyone who is a pro organizer) publicly-funded venues vs. private ones?

For example, I notice how Appaloosa, Quarter Horse and Arabian breed shows held at the same public venue often charge far, far, FAR less for stalls than eventing, dressage or h-j competitions. Is this because of what the parent organization charges organizers to hold recognized competitions? Is this a possible area to explore in terms of lowering costs?

Edited to add: Another question--Do stabling and bedding charges help the bottom line such that there is a signficant economic advantage to running events over more than one day?


Wynn--

I think a good part of this is the breed shows are more able to run a lot of horses through the ring so they don't have to make as much money to pay for the facility. At the dressage shows/events you're looking at running 10 horses at the absolute max in an hour, at a QH show you could conceivably run 40 or 50 horses through the ring in that time.

I know at our "big venue" the stalls are $9/day to rent with arrivals before noon on Friday paying for an additional day (so either $18 or $27 depending on the day). Arena rentals range from $200/day to $600 depending on which rings you use. If you can run 150 horses though 4-6 classes apiece/day your cost/class is significantly lower than if you can only run 10 horses/hour and each horse only run in essentially 3 classes/show.

In doing projections for holding shows at these venues I have figured that the stabling/grounds fee should pay for the stall rental and arena rental, while the class fees should pay for judges/judges expenses/prep/ ribbons/office expenses, etc and I set my fees accordingly. If you skew the numbers to be able to take in a lot more class fees/day you could certainly charge less for stabling (so long as it is permanent and a set # to rent).

pwynnnorman
Jan. 22, 2008, 03:24 PM
Oh, I see. Thanks for the education. Makes a ton of sense.

Janet
Jan. 22, 2008, 03:35 PM
Some questions for those who would like the lower levels run on one day at a HT.
And, please, I mean these with no snarkiness. I truly would like your feedback. :yes:
I'm a new HT secretary in 2008; having previously been a competitor and a chief scorer for 3 HT in 2007
1) Do you mean that in conjunction with the other levels running over 2 or 3 days, you'd like BN/N to run 1 day at a particular HT?
All sorts of combinations
A-All levels (BN to I) on one day (originally planned for 2 days, but REALLY BAD weather forecast for SUnday led them to reschedule everything on Sat)

B-BN, N and T all on one day is quite common in Area II

C- Two "1-day" schedules are also quite common, e.g. T and P all on Sat, BN, N, I all on Sun

D- Hybrid, for instance
-P and I do Dr and SJ on Sat, XC on Sun, but N does it all on Sun
-P does Dr and SJ on Sat and XC on Sun, T does it all on Sat, BN and N does it all on Sun

If you check the omnibus listing for Area II, and look at the tentative timetables, you will get a better idea if the variants.



2) Have you seen this done before? If so, what was good/bad about it? If not, how do you envision it working?

Around here, it is more common than not.

The good is that many competitors prefer it. Some don't.

It is often, but not always, combined with "do SJ in your XC gear and go straight from SJ to XC" which I personally dislike, but many do like. But there are quite a few that do all three phases in one day with a reasonable break in between phases.

As an organizer, you may not need to provide stabling (or only a small amount of stabling).

If you want to,(with the "two 1-day HT" format) it becomes much easier to have a significantly different SJ course for Sat vs Sun

As an organizer, the biggest downside is that, if you run XC on both days, you need a full complement of jump judges on each day. Depending on your volunteer base, this may or may not be a problem.



3) Do you volunteer at HTs?
4) Have you ever worked in the scoring office of an HT?


Yes. About the only jobs I haven't done are secretary and scribe. But I have been organizer, and I have done scoring under both formats. You might need an extra person in scoring. But as long as you have good outriders, who bring in the score sheets at regular intervals, scoring runs pretty smoothly under both timetables.


Do I think running BN/N over one day while the other levels go over two or three days is feasible. No, but I'm willing to listen to ideas. I'm hoping someone will give me a lot to consider.

Not only is it feasible, it is done all the time. If you want me to give you the names of specific events, I can, but if you just browse the Area II section of the omnibus, you will get a pretty good cross section.

scubed
Jan. 22, 2008, 03:48 PM
1) Do you mean that in conjunction with the other levels running over 2 or 3 days, you'd like BN/N to run 1 day at a particular HT?

I do like this. For a young horse, to only have to travel once and not have to stable stay over, I think is much easier. I am certainly used to it and have come to prefer. I like the straight from SJ to XC, especially at the lower levels as I consider the SJ a nice warm up for my XC.


3) Do you volunteer at HTs?
4) Have you ever worked in the scoring office of an HT?

Yes and yes. One thing about having the levels on one day, like P,N on Sunday and I, T on Saturday is that I will event on one day and volunteer on the other. Especially if I event on Saturday, I almost always volunteer on that the Sunday. I have worked in the scoring office of several events and have been head of scoring a couple of times. I don't think the one day format makes it too difficult as long as you have some system set up. The biggest issue is the runners of scores from XC and SJ.


Do I think running BN/N over one day while the other levels go over two or three days is feasible. No, but I'm willing to listen to ideas. I'm hoping someone will give me a lot to consider.

Absolutely. You can do dressage on the upper levels Friday and/or Saturday, with those upper levels doing XC and SJ either on one of the other days or one event each. They could also do all of BN/N on say Sunday (where they would have no dressage on the upper level horses. As Janet says, if you look in old omnibi, you will see this in Area II and some versions of it in Area 8

Janet
Jan. 22, 2008, 03:48 PM
Thanks for the feedback so far! I've got some researching to do. :) (Hello, Omnibus)

I'm interested to see how it's done to run different divisions on different time schedules over the same weekend:

1. From a scheduling point of view
SteveS's program does a pretty good job of scheduling, but you always have to hand tune the riders with multiple horses.
I think Event Entries may aslo have scheduling softeware


2. From a manpower point of view

It depends on the specific schedule. But yes, you either need two sets of cross country volunteers, or two sets of Dr and SJ volunteers, or both.

I have never been to an HT which did "only dressage" on one day. Even when everybody runs two days, you do either SJ or XC on the same day as dressage. So if you are used to devoting a whole day to "just dressage", you may need to use more dressage rings and more dressage judges than you are used to. Or the same number of judges and rings, but using them for 2 days instead of 1.


3. From a scorekeeping point of view; I'd like to know how they do it (which software, etc) Steves's scoring software handles it quite easily. There are others as well.


Say, for a HT offering BN through I.

Local schooling HTs I did were 1-day affairs. If I remember correctly, the x-c courses were shorter. And the stadium was in a tighter arena. That certainly makes a difference in scheduling and number entries that can be accepted.

Keep the info coming & thanks again! :yes: In Area II, where this schedule is very common, most of the cross country courses are very close to maximum length, and SJ is run in full sized arenas.

Whisper
Jan. 22, 2008, 04:47 PM
Rivenoak, I've volunteered at both recognized and unrecognized HTs, but only as a jump judge, replenishing the TP supply in the porto-potties, and picking up trash.

If you're running BN-I, but have a really bottom-heavy skew, with a lot of riders on multiple horses, you could also split it up so different divisions each run in one day. For example, Friday: (all three phases) Junior BN - A, BN Rider - A, Senior BN, Open BN - A
Dressage only, starting after BN and Novice, while they are doing SJ/XC): All T, P, I divisions

Saturday: (all three phases) Open BN - B, BN Rider - B, Junior BN - B, Novice Horse - A , Open Novice - A, Novice Rider - A, (run their SJ after other divisions finish), SJ for T-I

Sunday: Novice Horse - B, Junior Novice - B, Novice Rider - B, Open Novice - B, Sr. Novice, (run their XC after other divisions finish), XC for T-I.

rivenoak
Jan. 22, 2008, 06:29 PM
You're giving me GREAT info...thanks, thanks, thanks! I'm very much a glass-half empty person, :rolleyes:, so thanks for showing me where it is feasible!

We're Area X, so folks generally have to drive a distance (if not a great one) to get to a HT. Maybe they like staying over?

Plus we do have back-to-back weekends in July. Not sure if running LLs over 1 day would help folks or not. We are definitely bottom-heavy towards LLs in scheduling.

We're tight on volunteers. One big problem for us, I think, to do lower levels on 1 day. It's generally a problem that we're working on, believe me! Got any suggestions for that? :yes:

Last year we used SteveS's scoring program. Runners are an issue (see above). Heck, getting a dedicated x-c runner was rough; as in, they shouldn't be delivering water or doing other tasks, too. :(

We have two people scoring and another 1-2 double-checking the dressage scores; we double-check one another on XC and SJ.

Enjoying all of this "food for thought!"

asterix
Jan. 22, 2008, 07:46 PM
You should check with the folks at Surefire in Area II, who have run back to back weekends, and the Maryland HT, who also run back to back weekends.

I plan to start my baby at recognized BN here in the spring, but that's more about having a very close event (15 mins from home) that I know well -- it wouldn't matter much to me if it were rec vs. unrec if it were a good unrec...

but if I had to stable over somewhere to do a BN or N recognized, that sure would push me to unrecognized fast -- that's a much bigger deal.

Part of the problem here is that we clearly have really different issues on this score in different parts of the country -- some have a plethora of well-run unrecs, some do not. I have only ever "spent the night" at the AECs in the 5 years or so I've evented consistently -- my horse lives out and hauls well, so I'd rather drive home the 1-2 hours we usually have and throw him in the field than make him stay in a temp over night in a strange place -- and until I moved up to Prelim, a 2 day HT was VERY unusual for me anyway. Out of 3 prelims I've started (can't say I've finished all of them :lol:), only one was over 2 days.
But obviously there are lots of areas were staying over at even BN is completely normal...

So how do we understand a solution that is flexible enough to encompass these differences?

RunForIt
Jan. 22, 2008, 08:13 PM
You should check with the folks at Surefire in Area II, who have run back to back weekends, and the Maryland HT, who also run back to back weekends.

I plan to start my baby at recognized BN here in the spring, but that's more about having a very close event (15 mins from home) that I know well -- it wouldn't matter much to me if it were rec vs. unrec if it were a good unrec...

but if I had to stable over somewhere to do a BN or N recognized, that sure would push me to unrecognized fast -- that's a much bigger deal.

Part of the problem here is that we clearly have really different issues on this score in different parts of the country -- some have a plethora of well-run unrecs, some do not. I have only ever "spent the night" at the AECs in the 5 years or so I've evented consistently -- my horse lives out and hauls well, so I'd rather drive home the 1-2 hours we usually have and throw him in the field than make him stay in a temp over night in a strange place -- and until I moved up to Prelim, a 2 day HT was VERY unusual for me anyway. Out of 3 prelims I've started (can't say I've finished all of them :lol:), only one was over 2 days.
But obviously there are lots of areas were staying over at even BN is completely normal...

So how do we understand a solution that is flexible enough to encompass these differences?

the difference in money for someone who hauls in vs stabling is a big, big $sign. I certainly don't mind camping, actually prefer it (do miss a shower though :winkgrin: ), but in the winter, a motel is almost necessary - more ka-ching. Just check the Omnibus for your area vs Area III, now factor in diesel at $3.49/gal if you haul back and forth, say for 90 miles 2x/day for a 2 day HT - plus the day fee (now up to $50/day at some venues), the price is getting out of reach. Most venues, recognized or unrecognized are going to require me driving at least 90 miles or more, except to Ashland Farm.

I agree, 1 hour drive - do it for the horse's peace of mind - 2 hours, too much money these days. The organizers and venue owners are not trying to take advantage of any of us - insurance, the cost of jump upkeep, officials, those damn boxes to pee in...it all mounts up ...I don't have any answers except I need to move to Aiken. :D :cool:

CookiePony
Jan. 22, 2008, 09:54 PM
We're Area X, so folks generally have to drive a distance (if not a great one) to get to a HT. Maybe they like staying over?


Yes-- this does make a difference! I can see it being much more feasible for competitors in Areas I and II, where the distances are so much shorter, to do all of their phases in one day. But where I am in Area III is at least 4 hours from every event except for one in the fall, which is in my hometown. I personally prefer a two-day format, and many events in the 6-hour radius around me follow this.

If I compete on a Sunday, this usually means getting done sometime in the afternoon and getting in the truck for a long drive home. If I'm done late enough, I might have to stay over anyway so I can drive safely and not be exhausted.

easyklc
Jan. 22, 2008, 10:26 PM
In Vermont where I live through most of the competition year there seems to exist a thriving circuit of unrecognized events, ranging from "grasshopper", essentially little logs to trot over, right up to training.
I also think that although there is a fair degree of crossover, many riders ONLY compete unrecognized.
I`m guessing this is mainly expense related, and probably also because of what we might call "the intimidation" factor of sanctioned events.
Whatever the reason, many of these events are full to bursting, with 90-110 entries for a one day event, sometimes more.
As expenses climb, which I can`t help thinking they will, I expect that more competitors will avail themselves of these more affordable events.
As long as they have a good xc and good medical staff on grounds, the horses can`t tell the difference. So they provide a real service to our sport as venues to learn, have fun, and test limits.
Face it, lots of real people have take home pay of $700.00 a week, or $35,000.00 a year. One recognized event costing $350.00 is 1% of that rider`s entire annual income.
Eventing used to be less of an elitist sport, 25-35 years ago, I think, and I also think that we need to salvage some portion of that attainability.
I`d sort of hoped we might do that within the auspices of the USEA, but I`m beginning to think that probably can`t happen.

Since I have yet to even compete in a USEA recognized event I feel I want to chime in here, because I am a member and cost is an issue for me. Having these comments from you Denny sheds some light on where you are coming from. PS, nice mug shot in COTH. :D

Honestly, I really do not want anything to change in terms of EMT's, TD's, drug testing, attire etc. I like that my membership fee (and hard earned cash) is being used for these important items at an event. All are important and relevant to those of us "lower level" riders. I do aspire to go training some day, so I may start complaining about cost in the next few years. In the meantime, I budget as best I can without scimping on the most important way I spend my money--TRAINING! I consider that my greatest investment. Sure, I flinch at the stabling fees of $100 for a 2-day, but I also know that hosts and organizers aren't getting rich either. I go to as many schooling and open shows as possible for exposure, and make do. This year I am planning on 2-3 recognized events and 2-3 clinics and camps. I've budgeted, I've saved, and I know it won't be easy to give up my latte habit for 6 months. Besides, no one will notice that my dressage bridle didn't cost $300 or that I washed my hair in a bucket before my xc run.

Thank you to everyone for their input. It is interesting to hear from those of you who are going recognized and make some great points for me to consider this year.

Whisper
Jan. 23, 2008, 01:30 AM
Hmm, someone was just asking on another thread about recognized HTs holding an unrecognized pre-BN division. I think in some cases, especially with people who are just getting into eventing, that would be a great idea. That would address the intimidation factor, and trainers could bring students/horses who aren't quite ready for BN. I don't know how many people would be interested, but I know I would have gone to a recognized HT a lot sooner if that had been an option.

scubed
Jan. 23, 2008, 08:38 AM
As we used to do to go up to Checkmate, it was nice for my trainer that they did the upper levels on Saturday and the lower levels on Sunday. That way, she could focus on her riding and maybe a couple students the first day and then the big group of students on the Sunday. I typically rode Saturday and volunteered Sunday there also and it was fine, even with stabling and a 7 hour drive.

Auburn
Jan. 23, 2008, 08:38 AM
Jackie F. Smith offers a 2' Starter Novice division at her recognized events. South Farm does, too. For those divisions, they charge a much lower entry fee, because they are not recognized. (I believe that JFS did mention this in an earlier post.) Auburn

Shortstroke
Mar. 29, 2008, 08:31 PM
I hope it is okay to revive this thread because I feel I can now speak from experience and I would like to add my 2 cents. I had only shown at USEF recognized shows (one at BN and about 18 at N including AEC over a period of about 2 years) until today when I did a N Combined Training at Ashland in Covington, GA. I hadn't shown in over a year for several reasons including $. For $65.00 I had a first rate showing experience: no stall, no hotel, one day, very nice dressage warm-up and ring, same judge as I've had at recognized events, lovely XC course with a nice variety of jumps including ditch, up and down banks, water, 2 stride roll top combination, etc. The jumps started out easy and inviting, ratcheted up a notch and ended over another easy one. Some posters have been pretty negative about non-recognized events. But my experience today was 100% positive and I plan on going on more such outings. I thought that if I didn't have thousands of dollars to allocate to showing then I couldn't do it. Today proves that I can continue doing what I love (mainly XC!) on an affordable basis. I still belong to USEA because I want to support what they are doing (particularly Kevin). My 3 daughters did the Hunters. They started out at local shows and then moved up to recognized ones on up to Devon, Indoors etc... We enjoyed the local shows when we were doing them but the girls outgrew them competitionwise so they needed to show where it was more competitive. I don't think eventing is necessarily the same, at least it isn't for me. I'm not really competing against other people. I'm trying to improve my own skills and I compete against my self and frankly I will never go beyond Training. I can do this just as well at non-recognized as at recognized when they are as well run as Ashland was today. The Hunter/Jumper world is only for the very well to do these days and it looks as though Eventing is moving in the same direction. I'm very grateful to find that there is an eventing life outside of recognized shows and it is good!

RunForIt
Mar. 29, 2008, 08:41 PM
I hope it is okay to revive this thread because I feel I can now speak from experience and I would like to add my 2 cents. I had only shown at USEF recognized shows (one at BN and about 18 at N including AEC over a period of about 2 years) until today when I did a N Combined Training at Ashland in Covington, GA. I hadn't shown in over a year for several reasons including $. For $65.00 I had a first rate showing experience: no stall, no hotel, one day, very nice dressage warm-up and ring, same judge as I've had at recognized events, lovely XC course with a nice variety of jumps including ditch, up and down banks, water, 2 stride roll top combination, etc. The jumps started out easy and inviting, ratcheted up a notch and ended over another easy one. Some posters have been pretty negative about non-recognized events. But my experience today was 100% positive and I plan on going on more such outings. I thought that if I didn't have thousands of dollars to allocate to showing then I couldn't do it. Today proves that I can continue doing what I love (mainly XC!) on an affordable basis. I still belong to USEA because I want to support what they are doing (particularly Kevin). My 3 daughters did the Hunters. They started out at local shows and then moved up to recognized ones on up to Devon, Indoors etc... We enjoyed the local shows when we were doing them but the girls outgrew them competitionwise so they needed to show where it was more competitive. I don't think eventing is necessarily the same, at least it isn't for me. I'm not really competing against other people. I'm trying to improve my own skills and I compete against my self and frankly I will never go beyond Training. I can do this just as well at non-recognized as at recognized when they are as well run as Ashland was today. The Hunter/Jumper world is only for the very well to do these days and it looks as though Eventing is moving in the same direction. I'm very grateful to find that there is an eventing life outside of recognized shows and it is good!

As many will attest here, ANYTHING that is done at ASHLAND FARM is first rate - Lucy and Clay Calhoun, Ann Haller, Lynn Hennelly...all are the best. So happy for you that you've found out that unrecognized is only 2nd rate if the organizers decide to go at that level. Congratulations on a successful day for you and your horse! :cool:

Shortstroke
Mar. 30, 2008, 10:28 AM
Runforit - Thanks. Do you have anyother suggestions? I know that Pinetop and Poplar have unrecognized shows. Any recommendations?

RunForIt
Mar. 30, 2008, 10:33 AM
Runforit - Thanks. Do you have anyother suggestions? I know that Pinetop and Poplar have unrecognized shows. Any recommendations?

Those are always going to be well-organized, safe events. Go to the GDCTA.org site and then to their calendar - you'll get more info. For dressage schooling shows, Barlyn Farm has super ones, well attended too by recognized folks so the competition prepares you well. I'll be happy to be out myself late spring and summer! Hope to meet you! :cool:

persefne
Mar. 31, 2008, 05:41 PM
My point is that there's a point where decorations jump the shark, so to speak.


I absolutely agree. I love going to the events where my venue is shared with prelim, intermediate, and advanced (and the fences are dressed and pretty, with obviously a great amount of time and money dedicated to the appearance of the obstacles) but in most cases, those horses aren't looking at the carved bears leaning up against the picnic table when they are soaring over that fence. They are focused on speed, height, width, and take-off. The decoration is not the question, at those levels, and it is appealing and beautiful to enjoy. However, at beginner novice, jumping a solid fence confidently and securely is the question my horse should be facing...not whether or not he should also stop first to have a chat with those carved bears *before* he jumps the respective obstacle. To me, that seems as if the decoration is the question, not the obedience of jumping the particular type or style of obstacle (log, rail, bank, ditch, oxer, etc.), and responding to my seat and leg as we gallop and balance, which is the real focus of my trip round cross-country. Sometimes, giving a horse too much to look at takes away from the action of confidence and obedience and introduces a visual and an aesthetic disciplinary response that some horses just aren't capable of. At the lower levels, that seems unfair, and I know several capable horse/rider duos trying very hard at events who are undermined by the decorations adorning the fences (rather than the actual jumping efforts themselves), and they go home with shattered aspirations and a bruised confidence. We should be building up confidence at the lower levels, not tearing them down with an over-abundance of creative license.

And, also, since financial affordability is the original issue of this thread, I'd have to say that, since I compete at BN/N and won't be moving up to training any time soon, then I compete to have fun and I'm careful and cautious about my event entry decisions. I can only compete 3 or 4 times per year (in RE's). I would love to compete in more 1 day events (to cut down on time away from home and the need for multiple nights in hotels). I competed in an unRE last October where we did our Novice dressage at 8:11am on Saturday and then did nothing until we ran XC at 8:20am on Sunday. Show jumping on Sunday for Novice was at 12:45pm. It just seemed that for Novice (the smallest division of the horse trial) we could have at least run either dressage or XC on the same day...if not all of it on the same day. I did A LOT of sitting around in those 24+ hours. My horse also got stiff and stocky just standing in the stall most of the time (a person can only handwalk a horse so much within a given timeframe!). That seems worse, to me, than running everything in one day, then travelling home where he could at least get turned out the next day for a day or two off. I guess it depends on the logistics of the organizational procedure for the event (the numbers of judges, rings, jump judges, etc. available at any one time) but perhaps if organizers could plan for the 2 lower levels to run in one day, that would get the greater number of competitors through the event in an efficient manner, and it would help us to keep costs down for travel and lodging. Not EVERY event should offer the one-day at BN/N (I do still like to go places and compete for the experience of a full 2 or 3 days of activity) but when it comes to money spent wisely or not at all, I'd rather have some options...instead of just "not at all," as the case often may be.

purplnurpl
Mar. 31, 2008, 05:59 PM
A lot of people have shown interest in the one day event.

If you have more then one horse [and no groom] this really kills the fun. I would go insane at a one day with several rides.

We have a ton of schooling HTs. Don't other areas have these?

Hidden
Mar. 31, 2008, 06:52 PM
Seems interesting that most folks say..want save money? do a schooling horse trial. So the USEA doesn't get anything from that entry. You don't even have to be a member of USEA. What would make the difference there.. when would it be do a recognized cause it is in the same level as schooling. I know I find the $$ and the complexity of the courses as a big differenciator. I am all for the licensed judges etc.. but hey.. I may never end up doing a recognized. Cause I can't afford it. Perhaps there should be levels? Like hunter land, lots of folks do "c" shows cause the "A"s are so expensive, Maybe we should have grades of horse trials?

imapepper
Mar. 31, 2008, 06:58 PM
I actually wish there were more recognized events that were in a 2 day or 1 day format simply because I am a working adult with very limited vacation time. As far as the cost goes, I think that events are a bargain even the recognized ones. For me, the biggest expense and hassle is getting there due to the cost of gas, distance to HTs and the fact that I do not have a truck and trailer.

I wouldn't change anything else except make everything under Training run in 1-2 days :)

persefne
Apr. 1, 2008, 10:21 AM
A lot of people have shown interest in the one day event.

If you have more then one horse [and no groom] this really kills the fun. I would go insane at a one day with several rides.


I agree about the multiple horse factor being a killer, but I would still rather have the option of going all-out on the crazy in one-day for a recognized event EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE (I'm not saying ALL RECOGNIZED EVENTS should run the lower levels at one-day) but we should have a fair number of one-days to select from. And, no offense, but I'm physically capable of running recognized events on a regular basis (it's just a cost factor for me to consider schooling opportunities more often) and I get a bit complacent and bored when I have to do the unrecognized events ad nauseum just because that format is less expensive and less time-consuming. I am just advocating a more affordable recognized event/big venue option every so often. Like Hidden, if I had to do it based on my time availability and work/vacation schedule, I'd likely NEVER get to do a full recognized horse trial, simply because of the time and financial commitment that seems to be such a dynamic presence, so often now. I'm actually using a week of my vacation time from work this year just to go compete in the Area III Championships at Poplar Place. That seems worth the time, effort, and money, but I'm going to be a sad puppy if that's the only recognized event I can afford to compete in this year. I bet it would seem like more work for the organizers (on paper) to run much of an event in one day, but in the long run, they'd probably be happier getting BN/N finished in one day, rather than seeing the last BN rider pull out at 7:15pm on Sunday night. Plus, if more of us working ammys could get out there and logistically and affordably compete in the USEA events, then how much better for the organizers and the sport? Make it easier for the lower level masses to compete...not harder...and you'll see more of us out there. Is that a bad thing?

4Martini
Apr. 1, 2008, 11:38 AM
There are a bunch of events in our area that I would love to do. The problem is they are running BN over 3 days. I understand you only need to hire a dressage judge for one day. But, if they could just pack BN into the weekend I would run those events instead of others. I just don't have the vacation time, plus the added expenses - my coach charges per day, not phase + stall for longer and place to stay. Although I'm thinking of planning for one of them this year.

We do have one event that runs Sat, Sun, but they run it as two one days. You just pick your day. So, I guess if you have multiple horses, you could just choose different days for them. I like that idea. Esp since if you wanted you could compete on Sat and then go back and jump judge on Sunday to give back.

RSEventer
Apr. 1, 2008, 11:22 PM
For example, what about the dress code? Should it remain fairly formal, or would you allow a greater degree of informality, chaps, no jackets, that sort of thing? YES, THE EXPENSE WOULD HELP THE PEOPLE NEW TO THE SPORT
What about drug testing, would you waive that to save the money, or is that crucial to the fairness aspects? WAIVE IT
What about licensed tds? Would you have them, or accept possibly less expertise for the sake of lower entry fees? FORGET THEM
What about licensed dressage judges, same reasons as above?FORGET THEM TOO
What about medical staff on grounds for all 3 phases? THESE ARE NEEDED NO MATTER WHAT.

I am a school teacher who started eventing 4 yrs ago. I bought a Wintec Isabell dressage saddle ($1000), Woof boots for X/C ($100) and a X/C vest ($100) and was good to go, really.
I am ready to quit going to rated events altogether. They have the same course for $300 cheaper at Rocking Horse schooling shows- same jumps, sames stalls- the entire thing just costs $300 less. Same for Florida Horse Park- I can school there for free if I volunteer as a jump judge at rated events (which I do often). I signed up for my first rated event this year and I wanted to be in the amatuer class for Novice. The event organizer has me in Open Novice riding against professionals and I can't seem to convince her to change me into a class where I might be able to actually get a ribbon.
I am spending a fortune to do this show- sharing a hotel room, splitting the gas cost, taking a day off work, so I can drive home in the daylight to be safe. And, now- I have the organizer being snippy with me because she put me in the wrong division- see, if it was a non-rated horse event, I would only be out $125- max- as it is, I feel like I have to go to this show because I have sunk so much money into it already!
What was excitement about going is now turning to dread.
Anything to ease the financial pressure would be a welcome change, but I think that if I quit USEA, that would save $80/year. The non-rated events in my area are fun and that is what this is supposed to be.