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shawneeAcres
Oct. 10, 2009, 05:22 PM
OK, took some kids to a schooling show today, it is a local circuit that we show on some. They USUALLY have some pretty decent judges, but today was a total mess!! THe judge not only had no idea regarding what a GOOD mover was vs. a bad mover but didn't even seem to know the SIMPLEST of rules! It is one things to watch a judge pin a horse or rider based on their opinion, when you know they don't know a durn thing, but totally another to not know rules. THis judge was ELIMINATIONG riders with one refusal in O/F classes! She did several times to several riders. When I asked WTF, the ring steward said the judge said it was at "her discretion". Now she wasn't excusing them from the ring, she let them retake the fence and continue the course (WHICH is you ARE eliminated you are excused at that point, not allowed to continue), but when the class placings were called, anyone with a single refusal did not get a ribbon (some of the classes had 6 riders to ride, 6 ribbons and four ribbons were awarded for example). I was simply GOBSMACKED! She also pinned horses in the hack with standing martingales and let one horse win repeated classes with a figure 8 noseband. In my opinion, regardless of the level of showing, a judge should know the simplest of rules! THere are a variety of levels of riders at this circuit, from very small inexperienced kids to kids that show regularly on the "C" circuit (as most of mine do). The wrong message is sent to kids when the don't win or DO win and a rule is broken. THe other issue is that kids may be in the point standings at this circuit for their series end awards, and might have had one unfortuante refusal, and perhaps should have a ribbon and did not get that so their points suffer. Yes, I DID bring this up to the show management, as did quite a few others. So this is a rant more than anything, but honestly HOW can you call yourself a "judge" and do things like this?! Obviously if I see her name again as a judge I am not wasting my money!

enjoytheride
Oct. 10, 2009, 05:25 PM
I'm going to a show in a few weeks that says "standing martingales permitted on the flat" I assume because it is a schooling show and to make things run smoother. No big deal for me.

Understand it's very unconventional but maybe that horse was by far above the better mover so the judge went for the best mover with the most unconventional noseband? Not something you could get away with at a higher up show probably.

JinxyFish313
Oct. 10, 2009, 05:50 PM
Are you really complaining that kids with refusals didn't get ribbons? Seriously?

Ben and Me
Oct. 10, 2009, 06:05 PM
It was a schooling show. You win some, you lose some.

HorsRdr477
Oct. 10, 2009, 06:27 PM
Are you really complaining that kids with refusals didn't get ribbons? Seriously?

My thought too. Get over it.

alteringwego
Oct. 10, 2009, 06:57 PM
Had a similar situation happen at a very local open show that some of the local college girls and I went to for practice. The judge was incompetent but since the association had hired them, and they didn't have a replacement, they had to use them for the day regardless. They just didn't get re-hired.
Write it off as a crappy day and explain it to the kids.

JRG
Oct. 10, 2009, 07:06 PM
I have known judges that will use the "judges discretion" if they have a large class which keeps the show moving, or riders that were not riding their horse well enough for one reason or another.

Mara
Oct. 10, 2009, 07:09 PM
I don't for a minute read into the OP's post that she's mainly concerned about whether her kids went home with ribbons. I know it's a schooling show, but schooling shows are meant to be learning experiences for both horses and riders. The fact that the judge is either (A) completely unfamiliar with the most basic fundamental rules in the judge's manual or (B) knows the book but didn't care enough to enforce is just confusing to young riders. Bad example and all that.
Still, kids are resilient and they'll certainly get over it if they haven't already. It's still a learning experience, and one that they're going to confront at some point anyway if they continue in the sport.

whbar158
Oct. 10, 2009, 07:18 PM
It is also not against the rules to have a figure-8 noseband, it is the judges discretion to penalize an unconventional noseband. I have gotten good ribbons on my hunter at "C" shows in the schooling classes with my 3-ring and figure-8. The ribbon thing is odd with refusals, but not the worst thing I have ever seen a judge do at a schooling show.

shawneeAcres
Oct. 10, 2009, 07:23 PM
No I seriously do not CARE about the ribbons myself. But, at the same time, none of what was happening was "dangerous riding", just a few simple runouts or refusals, the judge wasn't hurrying things along, as she allowed riders to retake fence and continue, just to eliminate at the end. My complaint is that 1) a judge should know that one refusal in ANY jumping competition (with the exception of "fault and out" jumper classes) does not constitute elimination 2) this show runs according to USEF rules, so no, MArtingales are NOT allowed and 3) there ARE going to be kids (and none of them are mine so I don't have a dog in this hunt) whose series end points will be impacted by said "elimination". There are also kids who are just starting out, and yes, to them a fifth place ribbon out of five IS a big deal, the fact they "completed" a class, albeit with a refusal, but still manged to correct mistake and continue is an accomplishment, and yes their parents plopped the $10 down for a class, and little janie might like a nice pic of her smiling with her "first ribbon" and the pic sent to grandma! Sometimes we should look at the WHOLE picture, how the impact is overall. How maybe, just maybe some kid at the NEXT show thinks that one refusal is elimnation and gets one and doesn't finish her course cause she doesn't know better. Most of these kids have traienrs, but some don't. My point is about the "whole" picture and nessage this is sending. The message is that some rules can be "broken" by the judge, whether it be to the benefit or detriment of a rider.

Come Shine
Oct. 10, 2009, 07:41 PM
Is it possible that the riders also circled on course, counting as a refusal?

shawneeAcres
Oct. 10, 2009, 07:48 PM
No, it was not a circle on course either before or after the refusal, the judge admitted that she was eliminating one refusal, HOWEVER, one of my riders on a green horse overshot a turn and rather than put her greenie to the fence at a bad angle, she opted to circle and come back to the fence, as ribbons didn't mattter, we were there to school for a bigger show coming up. However, SHE ribboned!

MHM
Oct. 10, 2009, 09:00 PM
I know it's a schooling show, but schooling shows are meant to be learning experiences for both horses and riders... It's still a learning experience, and one that they're going to confront at some point anyway if they continue in the sport.

I think the learning experience here is that sometimes things go wrong in ways that are completely beyond your control, and you can either get in a tizzy about it, or let it go gracefully and move on.

That choice will have a huge impact on how much you will enjoy horse sports for the rest of your life.

Could the judge in this case have been a last minute replacement? Sometimes emergencies do come up, and the show has to scramble to find a judge who is available, even if they're not the most qualified or experienced judge in the world.

Regardless, good sportsmanship in every situation is always a valuable lesson.

loshad
Oct. 10, 2009, 09:13 PM
I think the learning experience here is that sometimes things go wrong in ways that are completely beyond your control, and you can either get in a tizzy about it, or let it go gracefully and move on.

That choice will have a huge impact on how much you will enjoy horse sports for the rest of your life.

Could the judge in this case have been a last minute replacement? Sometimes emergencies do come up, and the show has to scramble to find a judge who is available, even if they're not the most qualified or experienced judge in the world.

Regardless, good sportsmanship in every situation is always a valuable lesson.

This. It seems to me that every time the OP takes her kids to a show, she has to saddle up her drama llama and take it for a spin afterwards. That thing must be fit enough for Tevis by now.

OP, you are a pro. You owe it to your kids to teach them how to deal with shows that don't go quite according to plan with grace, humor, and good sportsmanship. I have to say that there is nothing in the way you present yourself on this board that makes me want to do business with you, ever. While I am not really in your area, I imagine a lot of people on here are. Something to consider, don't you think?

Fairview Horse Center
Oct. 10, 2009, 09:13 PM
We had a kid in a class for 1st year showing that did not get placed, even though she was much better than the other kids. It was first year showing, and it was on a borrowed horse, as her horse went permanently lame. One of the young college girls in my barn lent her a very nice warmblood, and worked with her for several months before the show. The family went out and purchased show clothes, hired a hauler, this was very important to the kid.

Parents of other kids on the rail were actually embarrassed and apologized for what was happening with no ribbons, when she obviously deserved them. The judge said later she did not pin her because she was too good for that class. ?!?!?! READ THE RULES! First year of showing.

Shouldn't the judge be required to follow the class requirements?

Horseforthecourse
Oct. 10, 2009, 09:42 PM
This. It seems to me that every time the OP takes her kids to a show, she has to saddle up her drama llama and take it for a spin afterwards. That thing must be fit enough for Tevis by now.

OP, you are a pro. You owe it to your kids to teach them how to deal with shows that don't go quite according to plan with grace, humor, and good sportsmanship. I have to say that there is nothing in the way you present yourself on this board that makes me want to do business with you, ever. While I am not really in your area, I imagine a lot of people on here are. Something to consider, don't you think?

The judging at some shows really has gotten quite out of hand. I don't think that it is a problem that should be ignored due to save face for 'sportsmanship' because it's getting worse, not better. A lot of judges aren't educated enough to be judging, and more programs need to developed to prevent this problem, even if it is just a program for local or open show judges. Many of them are just not up to date on their rules. Since I'm largely in the same area as Shawnee, I know that there is a state wide program in NC hosted by the cooperative extention service through NC State for open show judges, but, unfortunately, they did not hold that program this year. I expect it's due to budget cuts.

Now, I did go to an AA show last weekend for the Pre-Children's/Adult hunters, and I thought the judging was very fair. I don't think it's really a become a problem on the A circuit, but I haven't been to enough of them lately to feel like I have a sound opinion on that front.

To the OP, I look forward to meeting you at State next weekend! And good luck if I don't talk to you before then!

shawneeAcres
Oct. 10, 2009, 09:49 PM
This. It seems to me that every time the OP takes her kids to a show, she has to saddle up her drama llama and take it for a spin afterwards. That thing must be fit enough for Tevis by now.

OP, you are a pro. You owe it to your kids to teach them how to deal with shows that don't go quite according to plan with grace, humor, and good sportsmanship. I have to say that there is nothing in the way you present yourself on this board that makes me want to do business with you, ever. While I am not really in your area, I imagine a lot of people on here are. Something to consider, don't you think?

What?? !! Who said this had anything to do with my kids? My kids went out and had a good day, two champions and one reserve thank you, this had to do with other horses and kids and a judge that clearly does not have an understanding of the basic rules. I fail to understand why the fact that I question someone judging that is incapable of understanding that THREE refusals consititutes elimination, not ONE is "drama". My clients and students are perfectly happy with how I teach them to handle less than perfect days thank you! One of my students didn't have a great day with her lovely mare, who usually is winning the classes. She got nothing in her firs two classes in spite of excellent rides. As I told her, "Some days the judge likes you some days they don't, you had a good ride and nothing to beat yourself up over". You see, I remember the days when I was that little kid who got my first fourth place ribbon. I kept that ribbon for YEARS I was so proud of it. I had NO TRAINER at all, I took a little backyard horse and went out and "earned" my ribbon. It was a smaller county fair level show, but to me it could have been Madison Square Garden. i see that in some kids today (although less and less because they tend to have the attitude that so many on this board have) that even though they don't have the $100,000 horse, they can still get that little "first" ribbon. Frankly, from your posts there is nothing that makes ME want to do business with YOU so I guess at least we are of the same mind on that one! Oh yes, incidentally, we go to shows every weekend, sometimes two shows in a weekend as I have students showing at different levels on different circuits, sorry, but don't think I've posted a durn thing about showing for quite a while. THerefore, perhaps you should check your facts about "everytine I take Students to a show that I post" I only post when seriously QUESTIONABLE issues arise as it is up to the COMPETITORS to call the judges, mangement and stewards out when things are not going the way the RULES state they should, that is why they are called RULES, level playing field for everyone.

MHM
Oct. 10, 2009, 09:57 PM
I don't think that it is a problem that should be ignored due to save face for 'sportsmanship' because it's getting worse, not better.

It doesn't sound like the OP ignored the problem. She voiced her concerns to the show management, and noted the judge's name for future reference. Once the show is over, there is really nothing else to be done.

At that point, you can decide to fume about it, or laugh about it.

shawneeAcres
Oct. 10, 2009, 10:04 PM
It doesn't sound like the OP ignored the problem. She voiced her concerns to the show management, and noted the judge's name for future reference. Once the show is over, there is really nothing else to be done.

At that point, you can decide to fume about it, or laugh about it.

You are correct that what should be done at the show is to talk to a stewards about rule infringements if it is a recogmized show, or, if not voice concerns to show management. However, after the show is over there is ONE other option, viode your opinion so that others seeing the same issues arise will also take action, as, I feel that judges should be held accountable for their actions. Granted this is not a recognized show, but they specifically say that they make every effort to hire qualified juges, often hiring 'r' rated judges to insure that the judging is up to standards. I feel that coming here, and stating this will give others the initiative to take action as well to insure that the competitors get the best possible experience showing, based on the stated rules.

JinxyFish313
Oct. 10, 2009, 10:23 PM
Well if you're trying to do a public service by alerting others, you would need to give some specifics on the judge and the show.


As was pointed out, its not illegal to use unconventional tack, its up to the judge. So your only real gripe is with the refusal/elimination situation. Why do you even care? It would be one thing if it were the kind of situation where if you ignore it because it doesn't affect you now, the same thing could happen to you in the future...but honestly, do you care that much if one of your students didn't receive a ribbon after a future refusal? I wouldn't want my students to get rewarded for poor riding or poor decision making. Eliminating them is a pretty good learning experience.

Junebugz
Oct. 10, 2009, 10:33 PM
So here is a quick question more out of curiosity then anything because I can see both sides of this hypothetical situation....

Said judge is scheduled to judge again in the future, do you
A. tell students that you will not be attending that show as the scheduled official does not have a clear understanding of the rules (which could be taken as bad sportmanship)

or

B. Go to the show anyway explaining to the students that this is all a learning experience as more time in the ring (which management may view as supporting them regardless of who they hire)

Don't flame me! I am just curious...

JinxyFish313
Oct. 10, 2009, 10:38 PM
I'd go to the show. We don't show up with unconventional tack and we don't expect ribbons after refusals anyway, so thus far I don't see a problem with this judge. Even if he/she was pinning classes in ways that aren't consistent with how I pinned them in my mind, you're always going to get a judge that sees things differently than you do, even at A shows. Might as well get used to it. We show for ourselves, with our own goals...blue ribbons aren't our ultimate one.

Trixie
Oct. 10, 2009, 11:21 PM
THerefore, perhaps you should check your facts about "everytine I take Students to a show that I post" I only post when seriously QUESTIONABLE issues arise as it is up to the COMPETITORS to call the judges, mangement and stewards out when things are not going the way the RULES state they should, that is why they are called RULES, level playing field for everyone.

Frankly, you’re fairly consistent in posting long, venting gripes on this board with lots of CAPS and very little use of proper paragraphs.

As a professional, you can file a complaint quietly and help your students move past it. It’s up to the professionals to act professional, even if you feel that others are not. If you have a problem with the way that shows are being run, there is a correct venue in which to vent your frustrations.


It was a smaller county fair level show, but to me it could have been Madison Square Garden. i see that in some kids today (although less and less because they tend to have the attitude that so many on this board have) that even though they don't have the $100,000 horse, they can still get that little "first" ribbon.

I’m unsure of what, exactly, you’re referring to here. I've never seen anyone on this board would say a child shouldn't be proud of an earned ribbon.


THe other issue is that kids may be in the point standings at this circuit for their series end awards, and might have had one unfortuante refusal, and perhaps should have a ribbon and did not get that so their points suffer.

I would not be expecting a ribbon if I didn’t make it around a course. If they’re having “unfortunate refusals” perhaps it would be better to address that issue, not the year end awards.

For the record, I would gladly do business with Loshad.

Madeline
Oct. 11, 2009, 07:19 AM
1. The judge definitely made an error pinning the martingale in the hack. Unless it was specifically permitted by the rules of that show.

2. Unconventional equipment. Not illegal equipment. I'd tend to use unconventional equipment as a tie breaker between performances that were otherwise equal. Judges discretion. Is a figure eight worse than a wrong lead? than a sticky fence? than a reach? than a bad mover? In my book, no. But it IS the judge's discretion.

3. Refusals. You don't really think that a round with a refusal is worthy of points toward the day's championship, do you? Not to mention points toward year end awards...

My mother and I were judging a leaky roof show many years ago. One class was pretty scary to watch, what with refusals and knockdowns and awkward tight distances (the ones you mark on your card with the steep upside down V) and loose distances ( straight line with a drop at the very end). But the class did count toward the championship for the day. There were maybe 8-10 horses and we gave ribbons for 3rd. and 4th. They were the only two who had no refusals and were not scary/dangerous. We explained our thinking (about the championship points and all) to the organizer of the show, and she spread the word among the trainers and parents. The only result was that in the next few classes, which involved most of the same participants, kids made a better effort to present their horses to the fences in a manner that allowed reasonable jumping, and we were able to give out all four ribbons. I like to think that by withholding ribbons from those who really screwed up, we taught a few lessons: 1. Best of the worst doesn't mean you get a prize for it. and 2. You will be rewarded for paying attention to what you're trying to do.

Just a thought.

But the OP's judge in question WAS wrong about the standing martingale.

magnolia73
Oct. 11, 2009, 07:57 AM
I think a lot of general shows have judges from breed backgrounds who don't necessarily have the same rules we are used to. I guess it can be confusing, but if a show is not run under a particular set of rules, there is not much you can do.

If the rules are that "martingales are not allowed" then the management should tell the judge. If the rules are 3 refusals constitutes elimination, then the management needs to tell the judge. But if the show is operating with no rules in place, not much you can do.

I think you need to tell your students that the judge is being different, and to be sure to finish courses and double check tack. Or just choose shows where you know they stick to a standard of rules, like AHSA, HCHJA or PSJ type shows, or schooling shows put on by farms that host recognized shows.

Or hell, maybe the judge was drunk.

magnolia73
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:26 AM
I know that there is a state wide program in NC hosted by the cooperative extention service through NC State for open show judges, but, unfortunately, they did not hold that program this year. I expect it's due to budget cuts.


As a taxpayer in NC, I hope they did not spend too many tax dollars insuring Suzy is judged fairly. It's of a greater concern that real robbers- who rob at gun point don't get prosecuted... probably because tax dollars go to let people know that a figure 8 is the devil!

I'm gonna put this out there- but youngsters/parents showing is WAY too focused on the ribbons and points these days, to the expense of the horses and the sport. It's time to get back to educating parents and kids on what MATTERS. A kid had a stop, maybe didn't follow the plan... the gripe should not be that she does not get 2 points towards Open Crossrail Beginner Eq champion.

There should be an affordable place for kids to show, and maybe rules need to be different and allow different tack and have different rules than an A show.

Hell, maybe save money and skip the judge and give everyone a lovely tri-color. Or have participation ribbons.

Running Fox Farm
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:40 AM
I think eveything that could be said about this situation just about has, but, I'm game to carry some coals to Newcastle. I'm from MD, and we have multiple unrated, local schooling shows just about every weekend. I now live in Aiken, and it's a different story. One difference I'm finding is, there is no local certification of judges, that I'm aware - it's either USEF or nothing. If I'm wrong, please, someone set me straight on this one. In MD, the MHSA has a judges progam, you start as an " O" ( observing). Most of the local shows use "o"s and that's good, because they actually know the rules, which is like the most basic thing you should know if you want to judge, even if you can't tell a good mover. I have been upset w/ show mgm't because they advert. " according to MHSA/USEF rules" when in fact they don't follow those guidelines. It's very hard to make little kids understand ( and big kids too sometimes, much less adults!) that shows are not always done right - stuff even happens from time to time at the A's, but it happens. If you can't live w/ the judges decision, you need to find a new sport. MANY times I've had to hold my tongue re how my students placed, but I want them to learn good sportsmanship. I think the writer has taken all the appropriate steps, and just needed to commiserate and blow off some steam. As far as wanting my kids to pin w/ refusals - I can't go there. 99.9% of refusals are rider error that shouldn't be rewarded. Points are points, but sportsmanship is everything, and I've seen too darn little of that lately, from the A's on down. So do with your kids what you think will benefit them the most, and let it go. Have a great day.

shawneeAcres
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:46 AM
So here is a quick question more out of curiosity then anything because I can see both sides of this hypothetical situation....

Said judge is scheduled to judge again in the future, do you
A. tell students that you will not be attending that show as the scheduled official does not have a clear understanding of the rules (which could be taken as bad sportmanship)

or

B. Go to the show anyway explaining to the students that this is all a learning experience as more time in the ring (which management may view as supporting them regardless of who they hire)

Don't flame me! I am just curious...


I would choose to not go to the show. I do not feel that paying money for a judge that does not know or follow the accepted and printed rules is a "learning experience" quite the opposite. There are plenty of shows in this area every weekend that we can choose to do if we want a schooling experience, there were two yesterday that we could choose from, both of which we go to from time to time thru the year. I choose this show but in retrospect would have rather gone to the other one, as I was dismayed to see this type of judging. I really have no problem with "opinions" of judges, but I do have a problem with breaking rules. No the figure 8 is not technically a "rule" at least not anymore, but when I was growing up doing AHSA shows they were not allowed as were runnign martingales not allowed. I simply feel that that equipment is not acceptable in the hunter ring, but if it is the judges "opinion" to use it, then that is up to her. However, it is not her discretion to "choose" to ignore other rules, regardless of the reasons I stated. In terms of refusals pinning, I have personally watched a medals class this past yera where all but the top three horses did not have at least one refusal, some were "technical" refusals but refusals none the less (an inappropriate circle). Should the judge have simplY NOT pinned below 3rd in your opinion? even thogh this was a large and pretigious show? No, the judge did her job and pinned the best courses below 3rd that had ONE refusal.

Madeline
Oct. 11, 2009, 09:10 AM
IMO there's a big difference between eliminating (which means blowing the horn and sending the offender out of the ring) for one refusal and not using refusals in the placings. The first is a clear violation of the rules. The second is the judge's discretion.

pony4me
Oct. 11, 2009, 09:36 AM
At a schooling show, I hope and pray that the judge is competent enough to place the class based on riding ability. Beyond that, I don't expect the judge to know all the rules. I would expect the judge to know the martingale rule, but so should the kid's trainer, barn buddies, parents, kid, and maybe even the horse. It's hard getting a judge for a schooling show, and the job is harder than it looks. If the show management is any good, they are aware of the situation and will try not to use that judge again.

If I were judging and it were at my discretion, for a first time horse or rider o/f class, I would allow the rider up to three refusals to get the horse over a fence, and maybe two refusals at the next fence. If the horse was refusing everything, then I would be thinking they needed to be excused, and go home without a ribbon.

JinxyFish313
Oct. 11, 2009, 09:41 AM
The OP said the judge allowed kids to get over the fence and finish their course, so I don't know what the problem is there. I always thought the rule was that you were excused - ie not able to continue - after 3 refusals and assumed a stop meant it was a given that you weren't placing. If it happened that NO ONE made it through the course without a stop...well then either there was something wrong with the course or its a really poor quality show that I wouldn't be attending anyway.

Mara
Oct. 11, 2009, 09:58 AM
If the prize list states that the schooling show is conducted by USEF rules (as shawneeAcres said), then I would certainly expect the judge to know and adhere to these rules.

shawneeAcres
Oct. 11, 2009, 10:17 AM
I think what bothers me the most about this situtaion, is that, more and more is ALL aspects of life there is this pervasive feeling that rules don't matter, or rules don't apply to me, in this sitaution etc. It is not a good thing to be teaching our children, they often grow up then with the feeling that there won't be repurcussion for breaking the rules. I see it over and over again by other people in their posts, about why the gate is held up for 15 - 20 minutes for so-and-so trainer to get their kid ready etc. Rules are there for a reason and ingoring them, or changing then at "your discretion" to me is simply not acceptable. That was the purpose of my post. I myself judge and for me NOT to know the rules, regardless of the level of the show, is inexcusable. The FIRST THING a judge should ask in a non-recognized show is what rules they follow and if they ahve any "deviation" from the normal rules. In addition to hunter/jumpers, I have been very involed in eventing over the years. RUles ARE adhered to in eventing, to the "T" and I see no reason why they should be ignored in other aspects of horse sports.

Madeline
Oct. 11, 2009, 10:19 AM
I think what bothers me the most about this situtaion, is that, more and more is ALL aspects of life there is this pervasive feeling that rules don't matter, or rules don't apply to me, in this sitaution etc. .

But, really, the only RULE that was broken was the martingale in the hack.

MHM
Oct. 11, 2009, 10:26 AM
If the prize list states that the schooling show is conducted by USEF rules (as shawneeAcres said), then I would certainly expect the judge to know and adhere to these rules.

I totally agree.

I think the bigger question here is not whether the judge in the OP's case made mistakes (it sounds like she did), but what the best course of action is when that happens.

For the record, if there are 6 entries and 6 ribbons, everyone who is not eliminated according to the rules should get a ribbon, IMO. That means the kid with a refusal (or even two refusals) still gets a ribbon in a class of 6 entries. A kid who goes off course, or has three refusals, or falls off, does not get a ribbon.

Fairview Horse Center
Oct. 11, 2009, 10:43 AM
I think what bothers me the most about this situtaion, is that, more and more is ALL aspects of life there is this pervasive feeling that rules don't matter, or rules don't apply to me, in this sitaution etc.

RUles ARE adhered to in eventing, to the "T" and I see no reason why they should be ignored in other aspects of horse sports.

Yes, try coaching from the rail at an event, or just a cluck as the rider passes, and the competitor will be eliminated - even at the small, unrecognized events.

We once had a rider that was Long Listed compete at one of our Combined Tests. She entered the arena for her stadium round, and crossed the start line before the whistle. Our TD eliminated her, and boy was she p*ssed! We could have let it pass, but truly it is more important to teach people that they need to follow the rules when they are paying $50 for the weekend, than later when it will be $500 - $1000.

<We did allow her to jump around, but she was told it wouldn't count for the placings>

Fairview Horse Center
Oct. 11, 2009, 10:54 AM
For the record, if there are 6 entries and 6 ribbons, everyone who is not eliminated according to the rules should get a ribbon, IMO.

I agree. It is not like someone placing 6th out of 6 is not aware they were last (Sometimes that can be worse). Also unlikely that any points would actually earn the Championship, unless all of the others rode just as badly in other classes. Then do you not give a Championship ribbon?

People competing at entry level shows need encouragement. It does not hurt to give them a ribbon. That is from someone that ordered and placed thru 10th place at her unrecognized Combined Tests. Also giving double ribbons (Dressage & overall), so competitors would get something for their dressage placing, even if eliminated in Stadium. :winkgrin:

magnolia73
Oct. 11, 2009, 10:58 AM
I imagine the judge did not KNOW the rules, and the management should have educated, but it was probably easier not to educate her than to change her "method" part way through.

That said- a great life lesson- the rules often don't matter to the person of authority. Life seldom follows the rule book. Learning that at a young age probably prepares a kid for a happy life more than the esteem from winning a 5th place ribbon. Bottom line, judge did not find a round with a stop worthy of a ribbon. Kid performed and got no ribbon, even though the rules promised ribbon.

When kid enters work force and works 60 hours and gets no raise or overtime per the rules because their middle manager found a loop hole, they'll get that sometimes life isn't fair and complaining doesn't get you the raise.

whbar158
Oct. 11, 2009, 11:05 AM
Schooling shows can all be different, some are just smaller versions of bigger shows. Some are set up to be true learning experiences for kids/adults that may or may not have a trainer. If the judge explained it to them later why they did not get placed. A kid on my horse (only 8) at her first show missed a jump due to bad steering but kept going, they allowed her to continue (this was at a C show actually) and finish her course, but later explained why she won the first class but didn't get a ribbon in the next one.

The martingale could have been an honest mistake, it could have been radioed to the judge and they judge said it was ok. Who knows? I like some of the small schooling shows that take the time to really point out what they are looking for and why they pinned the way they did, maybe the refusals were from really bad riding and the judge did not want to place them and already cleared with management?

A show I went to in the spring the judge at another NCHJA C show for the unrated ring took the time to explain that for the young entry that trotting to change you lead she was not going to count against you but if you were half cantering the course and half trotting it she was. I thought that was nice of her. My horse kept doing simple changes and it was not counted against him (although the horse that won cantered without having to change leads which I was fine with).

The only time I have a problem with judging is when they really make a huge mistake, ie pinning a horse that pulled a pole above one that didn't or a scary horse because it got down the lines (but scary!) and another did the adds very nicely (talking about at schooling shows here). But even then I don't usually care unless it was a really really good course, but if there is a mistake in the course then who cares I personally don't want a ribbon because I am the best of the worst!

To the OP it may have been a big mistake or it may have been worked out and talked about between those people already.

Fairview Horse Center
Oct. 11, 2009, 11:20 AM
The only time I have a problem with judging is when they really make a huge mistake, ie pinning a horse that pulled a pole above one that didn't or a scary horse because it got down the lines (but scary!) .

I remember a large pleasure class (about 30 entries), and the judge actually pinned a rider whose horse laid down, and the rider had to jump off, and remount. :eek: :no:

enjoytheride
Oct. 11, 2009, 12:15 PM
Well eventing doesn't have a stupid rule about conventional v. unconventional nosebands so that doesn't happen.

Again, you have not answered the question. Was the horse with the figure 8 the best horse out there? Conventional or not if it was the best moving horse out there the judge most likely overlooked a noseband and pinned that horse.

Also, I have been to several local shows where it says "standing martingales allowed in the flat." This makes the show go by much faster then waiting for people to take their martingale's off. Besides, the judge can tell the difference between a horse working on a loose martingale and one fighting it.

SaturdayNightLive
Oct. 11, 2009, 12:34 PM
It's possible the judge didn't even see the martingale. In a large class, little details like this can go unnoticed. Sometimes you don't see what you aren't looking for/ aren't expecting to see.

Jumphigh83
Oct. 11, 2009, 12:43 PM
The cure for the disgruntled feelings over vague rules is to only go to recognized shows, where it is clear what the rules are or are not. Other than that, their show, their rules.

HenryisBlaisin'
Oct. 11, 2009, 01:26 PM
It's possible the judge didn't even see the martingale. In a large class, little details like this can go unnoticed. Sometimes you don't see what you aren't looking for/ aren't expecting to see.

I have a hard time buying this if the horse won-usually the winning horse gets plenty of looks from the judge and the judge would have to not be paying attention to not notice a piece of equipment that, unless otherwise stated, is not legal. And if he's not looking closely at the winner, how does he know it was the best in the class?

IMO, everything in showing is "judge's discretion." As was noted above, a judge does not HAVE to pin anyone. If you are the only rider in the class, he does not HAVE to give you blue-he can give a lower ribbon or none at all if the performance was poor.

OTOH, I do understand when people vent about judging sometimes, particularly in hunters or pleasure where it's totally subjective. I'm really, really wondering about a judge we had yesterday at a 4-H show. In a fitting and showmanship class, I was the only person wearing a coat, helmet, and hairnet, my horse was the only one braided with his feet oiled and set up property, and I was the only one who used the quarter system and who turned correctly in the pattern (on haunches, to the right with horse away from me). I got second. The ONLY thing I can figure is it took my horse a couple of steps (as in maybe two) to pick up the trot in the pattern. Yet I got beaten by a handler with messy turnout who had her back to her horse for most of the class. Still can't figure it out. OK, that was a small vent, it felt good, and it's over. The classes didn't count for day end anyway, and my horse was champion in both his divisions. I'd really rather know why I got second so I can fix it next time. The red was NBD, but it would be nice to know so I can fix it next time.

lcw579
Oct. 11, 2009, 01:27 PM
So glad that DD events now and threads like this remind me why I gave up competing in hunters when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

But here are my 2 cents:

I have been to little schooling shows where they let you do the hack with a standing martingale on. Do I like it? No. I always took my daughter's off when she was showing in them - even when the trainer was saying it was okay because I am old school and know the rules. However, not everyone knows the rules and these days people seem to just blindly follow the trainer's advice so independent thinking doesn't seem to be encouraged in hunters.

As for not getting pinned with a refusal. Good for the judge. Kid got to continue with the round but really, if you are having refusals you don't really deserve a ribbon, do you? Even with under 6 in the class it is still a pretty hollow placing. Kids know they didn't deserve it - or they should. If you rode like crap, you shouldn't get the reward. When my daughter had a craptastic round and still got a ribbon because of few entries she knew she didn't deserve it and didn't even want it - it was meaningless.

Shawnee, you've been posting a lot of complaint threads lately about numerous topics and I think that is what is rubbing people the wrong way. I think you need a vacation. :)

Running Fox Farm
Oct. 11, 2009, 04:01 PM
I agree w/ Mara. When you take on " judge" as a title, even if it is for a schooling show, certain responsibilities go with the position. Knowing the rules should certainly be first and foremost. I held an "O" judges rating in MHSA and, if I didn't know anything, it was expected by the Senior judge with me, that I could recite the "specs" for each class/division that was judged. Again, aren't there any programs down here in N-SC that certify judges in any way, or can get up one morning and decide you're now a judge???

kellyb
Oct. 11, 2009, 06:24 PM
It was a schooling show. You win some, you lose some.

Could. Not. Agree. More.

Ben and Me
Oct. 11, 2009, 07:50 PM
Again, aren't there any programs down here in N-SC that certify judges in any way, or can get up one morning and decide you're now a judge???

NCHJA certifies judges for their "C" shows (which aren't USEF C shows, but are called C shows for whatever reason). I assume that this show was at a level below those shows, though, and therefore probably had no rules in place for how judges were to be trained. Some of the better schooling shows (at least in my past experiences showing in NC) usually get adept amateurs who show themselves, or NCHJA C judges, but it sounds as though this schooling show either didn't know how to select a judge or had to find a last minute replacement. At $10/class, with less than 6 entries in classes, they probably didn't have a huge budget with which to select a qualified judge. Sometimes you get lucky and get a knowledgeable judge, sometimes you don't. It can happen at any level, but generally you get what you pay for.

In my opinion, schooling shows should value safety over nosebands, etc.

Janet
Oct. 11, 2009, 11:25 PM
IMO there's a big difference between eliminating (which means blowing the horn and sending the offender out of the ring) for one refusal and not using refusals in the placings. The first is a clear violation of the rules. The second is the judge's discretion.
Not so sure about that. They were excusing ("leave the ring") people after 2 refusals in the Medal final.

MHM
Oct. 12, 2009, 12:40 AM
Not so sure about that. They were excusing ("leave the ring") people after 2 refusals in the Medal final.

If you look at USEF Rule EQ 110, it states that a rider is eliminated for three cumulative refusals, with the exception of the USEF Medal Finals, the USEF Pony Medal Finals, and the Maclay Finals, where a rider is eliminated after two refusals. Presumably this is to move the day along with the large number of entries in those classes. It's a relatively recent rule change from the traditional three refusals at Finals.

In that same rule, it states that a refusal, loss of stirrup, loss of rein, or trot on course may be considered major faults and cause for elimination, though it's rare to see someone eliminated solely for those things.

RugBug
Oct. 12, 2009, 12:37 PM
Schooling shows can all be different, some are just smaller versions of bigger shows. Some are set up to be true learning experiences for kids/adults that may or may not have a trainer.

Yep. My schooling shows are literally schooling shows. I try to run them as close to 'big' show standards as I can, but we allow some leeway. For instance, the competitors get to decide how dressed up they want to be. I love it that we have people of all ages do the whole nine yards but it also doesn't bother me that some people show in a polo and half chaps.

If I'm going to sway from standard rules, I let the judge know when they get there in the morning. For example: we all trotting in our cross-rails division. We do not want people to be penalized for trotting in that division. I make sure the judge know's this. I then tell them that anything after crossrails is up to them. I also let them know that they can choose to penalize for adding strides, but they do not have to.

I'm never quite sure how up on the hunter rules my judges are. I hire surrounding area trainers...which is heavily eventing-oriented, so that's what I get. Some have done hunters in the past...so couldn't pick the best mover if it was cutting a bouquet of daisies for them. But at this level...it doesn't really matter. Safe and in the saddle is sometimes all it takes.

At my last show, I made a huge error. I hired a local trainer who had given a lesson or two to some of my regular competitors. After watching some classes and seeing some funny results (people who should've done well, didn't place at all), I talked to the judge. Turns out they weren't placing them because they had recently taken lessons with the judge. One person in particular was up for our Year End High point (we only give one year end prize). I felt awful. There was one division class left, so I asked him to just judge it as if the lessons hadn't taken place and I had him give me the placings he would've put that rider in if the lesson hadn't taken place. I gave the rider those point towards year end and I think it ended okay...but it wasn't fun to deal with. My judge was absolutely correct to not be placing these riders.

IMO, good judging and bad judging can happen anywhere. Sometimes it's management's fault, sometimes it's the judge's. I personally wouldn't have a problem with a judge not placing people with a refusal. If I was the trainer and they did get a ribbon with a refusal, I would want them to know that they may be taking home a piece of satin, but that their course wasn't great and they wouldn't have placed had it been a larger class. 'Course, I'm harsh like that...I don't care to celebrate mediocrity.

Janet
Oct. 12, 2009, 12:48 PM
If you look at USEF Rule EQ 110, it states that a rider is eliminated for three cumulative refusals, with the exception of the USEF Medal Finals, the USEF Pony Medal Finals, and the Maclay Finals, where a rider is eliminated after two refusals. Presumably this is to move the day along with the large number of entries in those classes. It's a relatively recent rule change from the traditional three refusals at Finals.

In that same rule, it states that a refusal, loss of stirrup, loss of rein, or trot on course may be considered major faults and cause for elimination, though it's rare to see someone eliminated solely for those things.
Thanks

shawneeAcres
Oct. 12, 2009, 07:22 PM
Well eventing doesn't have a stupid rule about conventional v. unconventional nosebands so that doesn't happen.

Again, you have not answered the question. Was the horse with the figure 8 the best horse out there? Conventional or not if it was the best moving horse out there the judge most likely overlooked a noseband and pinned that horse.

Also, I have been to several local shows where it says "standing martingales allowed in the flat." This makes the show go by much faster then waiting for people to take their martingale's off. Besides, the judge can tell the difference between a horse working on a loose martingale and one fighting it.


No the horse with the figure 8 by far was one of the worst movers out there, but I didn't want to get into "opinions". He was a "jumper" type horse with lots of knee and hock action, the judge was obviosuly not well versed in pinning hunter classes either O/F or flat.

However, I wish to address the people who claim I have started a lot of "complaint" trheads. let see, since APril 7th, I posted a question about something that occured at a "C" show. SInce then the ONLY OTHER COMPLAINT I have posted regarding shows was this one. As far as complaint threads in total, TWO OTHERS since then both about selling and buyers. I wouldn't say, that in 7 months time, four posts "complaining" is a lot. However, I am not "complaining" but stating a fact of what occurred at a show that I felt was a major deviation from the rules. I have nothing further to say on this matter

snaffle635
Oct. 13, 2009, 01:09 PM
However, I am not "complaining" but stating a fact of what occurred at a show that I felt was a major deviation from the rules.

The title of your thread includes the letters 'WTF'. Is that not implying that you were unhappy with the show and therefore 'complaining'?

As a professional and trainer of children, you might want to reconsider your choice of language on a public forum.

findeight
Oct. 13, 2009, 01:31 PM
Ummm..."THEY"-meaning show management- can say "they" try to follow USEF rules if "they" want but "they" do not even know what the USEF rules are half the time and "they" were in no way part or parcel of USEF or recognized affiliate, paid for no approval, adhere to no standards, provided no steward and have no way to formally protest anything.

There is absolutely nothing you can do. Because, in reality, there were NO rules.

That is what you get, and pay for, at totally unrated, unaffiliated local shows. Whatever they feel like giving you.

You go to these, you need to take what you get with a shrug and bit of better sportsmanship then whining on here about crappy judging of some, frankly, crappy rounds at some local show operating under nobody's rules other then their own, if and when it is convenient to do so.

You want to go to these? You need to accept that and the consequences ribbon wise. I just have a hard time defending rounds with stops that did not get a ribbon...sometimes I wish the judge did not have to give everybody a ribbon no matter what just because there were equal numbers of riders and ribbons. See too many best of the worst, who stunk less classes, "learning show" is no excuse. You are bad, you should not expect a reward.

Oh...and USEF rules have changed to 2 stops constituting elimination in many divisions.

rileyt
Oct. 13, 2009, 02:10 PM
I was simply GOBSMACKED! She also pinned horses in the hack with standing martingales and let one horse win repeated classes with a figure 8 noseband. In my opinion, regardless of the level of showing, a judge should know the simplest of rules!

It seems that if you are going to come on here and rail against a judge for not knowing the rules, that you would bother to check them first. Especially since they are so simple.

A figure eight is not illegal. It is non-conventional tack, and "may" be penalized.

But, in the context of the bigger picture, I am often sympathetic to judges at these shows. You frequently get such a mix of riders and skills (and people coming from other disciplines) it can really be quite difficult to judge.

And - maybe she said she "eliminated" riders when they had a refusal, when in fact, she just thought, "I'm not going to pin riders with a refusal". I actually support that as a judgment call -- I wouldn't get hung up on the semantics... because really, if you decide not to pin someone, aren't you really eliminating them? Can you not award 5th place to a rider who successfully completes the course if you only have five riders?

Horseforthecourse
Oct. 13, 2009, 02:34 PM
As a taxpayer in NC, I hope they did not spend too many tax dollars insuring Suzy is judged fairly. It's of a greater concern that real robbers- who rob at gun point don't get prosecuted... probably because tax dollars go to let people know that a figure 8 is the devil!

I'm gonna put this out there- but youngsters/parents showing is WAY too focused on the ribbons and points these days, to the expense of the horses and the sport. It's time to get back to educating parents and kids on what MATTERS. A kid had a stop, maybe didn't follow the plan... the gripe should not be that she does not get 2 points towards Open Crossrail Beginner Eq champion.

There should be an affordable place for kids to show, and maybe rules need to be different and allow different tack and have different rules than an A show.

Hell, maybe save money and skip the judge and give everyone a lovely tri-color. Or have participation ribbons.

Breed show rules like AQHA follow USEF rules quite closely in terms of all the basic equipment and refusal rules. 2 refusals are standard for elimantion. Any martigales are not allowed on the flat. I don't think show management should have to tell a judge about basic standard rules that are across the board, but that's just my opinion.

It also isn't about points and ribbons. It's about proper education, and I hope that not one penny is taken away from the NC Program, which includes proper judging. Education keeps people involved, out of trouble, and enables them to contribute to this society in a positive way. But then again, I don't live my life in fear about being robbed at gun point. It's sad, but shit happens and I don't usually think about such negative things. That's just life, and education to me will always be more important because it prevents those kinds of things from happening. No matter how many of our tax dollars goes towards fighting crime, it will always be a very real presence in this country. So, why don't we spend money preventing it rather than catching the criminal after the fact?

I agree that schooling shows should offer different classes than A shows to accomodate for green horses and beginning riders.

If everyone gets a ribbon, that defeats the purpose of having a horse show. Those circumstances are best saved for therapuetic, leadline, and cloverbud divisions.

Also, to rileyt, the diversity and difference in skills levels are what make a schooling show a lot easier to judge than a recognized type show. At least, that's just may opinion. When you go to a recognized show, there are always a lot of very nice horses and the very last detail counts.

luvs2ridewbs
Oct. 13, 2009, 02:47 PM
I just want to point out, that there are rules for a reason. If there were no standards to horse showing, then the "judge" could just pick his or her favorite for no reason at all. That is the point of horse showing on any level, any discipline- to compare yourself to the standard. I don't think its acceptable for a judge to not know the basic standards of the class no matter if its a schooling show, open show, rated show, etc.

RugBug
Oct. 13, 2009, 02:53 PM
Also, to rileyt, the diversity and difference in skills levels are what make a schooling show a lot easier to judge than a recognized type show. At least, that's just may opinion. When you go to a recognized show, there are always a lot of very nice horses and the very last detail counts.

It can be as difficult to pick the best of the worst that you often get at schooling shows. The judges at both shows have quite a job cut out for them, IMO.

magnolia73
Oct. 13, 2009, 03:00 PM
Also, to rileyt, the diversity and difference in skills levels are what make a schooling show a lot easier to judge than a recognized type show. At least, that's just may opinion. When you go to a recognized show, there are always a lot of very nice horses and the very last detail counts.

I think in some ways, it can make it harder. If 6 drop dead perfect trips come into the ring, its easy- pick the horse you like the most! You can't be wrong.

When you get 2 missed leads, 5 chips, a flyer vs found all the jumps but hangs a leg over every one vs trotted in/cantered out each line....it's harder to be right. What do you penalize most? Trotting? Horribly inconsistent? Dangerous form?

If you want uniformity, I guess you could do a form like a dressage test that standardizes how each aspect counts, but otherwise, each judge will have differing opinions on ranking errors. (beyond stops and falls)

findeight
Oct. 13, 2009, 03:05 PM
I just want to point out, that there are rules for a reason. If there were no standards to horse showing, then the "judge" could just pick his or her favorite for no reason at all. That is the point of horse showing on any level, any discipline- to compare yourself to the standard. I don't think its acceptable for a judge to not know the basic standards of the class no matter if its a schooling show, open show, rated show, etc.

But whose standards? They can be quite different.

But, bottom line, there are no rules and no enforcement possible at unrated, unaffiliated local shows. They can do what they want.

And, really, for what most of these pay a judge? You are not going to get one well versed in all aspects of various rule books. Usually not exactly a top professional able to spot all soprts of minor infractions-or even major ones. Sometimes you get a good one, often not so much, sometimes you get worse. But there is nobody to complain to as there is no requirement for competency or knowledge in selecting judges for unrated, unaffliated schooling shows. It is who is willing and available and will do it for little or nothing compared to what "real" judges make.

MintHillFarm
Oct. 13, 2009, 03:31 PM
I think the learning experience here is that sometimes things go wrong in ways that are completely beyond your control, and you can either get in a tizzy about it, or let it go gracefully and move on.

That choice will have a huge impact on how much you will enjoy horse sports for the rest of your life.

Could the judge in this case have been a last minute replacement? Sometimes emergencies do come up, and the show has to scramble to find a judge who is available, even if they're not the most qualified or experienced judge in the world.

Regardless, good sportsmanship in every situation is always a valuable lesson.

Well said!

RugBug
Oct. 13, 2009, 03:40 PM
And, really, for what most of these pay a judge? You are not going to get one well versed in all aspects of various rule books.

Heh...We pay our judges WELL. I have no idea what a carded judge makes, but our judge is our biggest expense. I would love to have hunter specific judges, but I make do with whats available to me.

Midge
Oct. 13, 2009, 05:00 PM
Also, to rileyt, the diversity and difference in skills levels are what make a schooling show a lot easier to judge than a recognized type show. At least, that's just may opinion. When you go to a recognized show, there are always a lot of very nice horses and the very last detail counts.

Au contraire! A lot of nice horses with every last detail counting, means you actually GET to judge. A mishmash of skills, disciplines, 'off' breeds, and unconventional tack means you just score. At best, your judging is, 'in fifth, who is better: the sweet horse that went around really cute except he hung his legs at the verticals and who knows if he can only cross canter because the kid was hanging on the outside rein so hard there was no way he could change his lead OR the good jumper in the kimberwicke and running martingale who went around a bit on the muscle but trotted a turn, making him yet another horse who may or may not change his lead. And regardless of which you pick, the other one thinks you're an idiot.

MHM
Oct. 13, 2009, 05:10 PM
Oh...and USEF rules have changed to 2 stops constituting elimination in many divisions.


Breed show rules like AQHA follow USEF rules quite closely in terms of all the basic equipment and refusal rules. 2 refusals are standard for elimantion.

What rule books are you guys looking at?

USEF rules state elimination after 2 refusals ONLY in jumper divisions. All hunter and equitation classes still use 3 refusals, with the exception of the Finals for Medal, Maclay, and Pony Medal, as noted in an earlier post.

AQHA still has 3 refusals for both hunters and jumpers.

Also, what's a cloverbud division?

Janet
Oct. 13, 2009, 05:22 PM
What rule books are you guys looking at?

USEF rules state elimination after 2 refusals ONLY in jumper divisions. All hunter and equitation classes still use 3 refusals, with the exception of the Finals for Medal, Maclay, and Pony Medal, as noted in an earlier post.

AQHA still has 3 refusals for both hunters and jumpers.

Also, what's a cloverbud division?
I expect she is referring to this
HU131

5. After all competitors have had an opportunity to compete over a course in the Regular
Working section, competitors with faults which would eliminate the competitor from the ribbons,
may be excused at management’s discretion, provided four more competitors than
the number of ribbons awarded have completed the course. In Green Working classes riders
are encouraged to withdraw after a major fault.

Come Shine
Oct. 13, 2009, 05:25 PM
And regardless of which you pick, the other one thinks you're an idiot.

This.

MHM
Oct. 13, 2009, 05:31 PM
I expect she is referring to this
HU131

That may be in the rule book, but I don't think I've ever seen it actually applied at a show.

Frankly, if an exhibitor pays their entry fee for a class, I think they're entitled to keep going around the course until they've had the designated number of refusals specifically allowed in the rules.

If it's a big class, that's when the judge can take a little mental break (but not read a magazine!) after the first refusal.

MintHillFarm
Oct. 14, 2009, 09:49 AM
At a schooling show, I am a little more flexible on the refusal issue, unless there appears to be a safety consideration. If a horse refuses 2 x, I may allow one more attempt before they are excused. Those that are beyond the USEF rule limit of refusals are obviously out of the ribbons though, no matter how many are in a class.

Unconventional tack is at the judge's descretion. At the schooling show level, and a figure 8 or other non-hunter/equi type tack is used, a judge may still have that horse in the ribbons if the trip is completed. The horse could also be the class winner at that level.

I always make sure I know what the rules are for that day. I.E.: Martingales on the flat, boots, trotting in the ends, diagonals in the beginner divisions etc...

luvs2ridewbs
Oct. 14, 2009, 09:56 AM
Find8, even at schooling shows there are specs for the classes. If it is printed on the program that martingales are not allowed in flat classes then the judge needs to abid by that. Judges cannot change the specs of a class just becuase they feel like it. That was the point I was making.

JinxyFish313
Oct. 14, 2009, 10:02 AM
Find8, even at schooling shows there are specs for the classes. If it is printed on the program that martingales are not allowed in flat classes then the judge needs to abid by that. Judges cannot change the specs of a class just becuase they feel like it. That was the point I was making.

And maybe the judge missed it. So the proper thing to do is be professional and approach the trainer sending kids out with martingales with a helpful reminder. Nothing rude or accusatory, just "Hey I don't know if you saw the no martingale rule, but I'd hate for your kids to get eliminated. Thought I'd give you a heads up." If that fails, go straight to management.

myvanya
Oct. 14, 2009, 10:41 AM
I go to several schooling shows that allow martingales in flat classes both standing and running. I admit, I am too lazy to remove mine often for the flat since it makes the day go much faster if you don't have 12 riders stopping between the hack and o/f to put martingales on. The judge can see if it comes into play or not. I do however, put my jumper horse in a standard noseband instead of his figure 8 since most of the schooling showes here don't offer jumper classes and I prefer to use standard equipment. It is a matter of preference though. I go to put mileage on my horse not to win anyway :)

That being said, at a schooling show it is up to the management and the judge and though it is frustrating if they do not follow what they outline on the prize list, it is up to them. I have even been to rated shows where in a jumper class someone with a rail down was placed over people with clear rounds. Mutliple people saw the person pull the rail; the judge didn't. The judge's word was final. It was frustrating, but it is part of showing. You ride your best on a given day and hope it places well- if the jusge, for whatever reason, does nt place your ride well it is a bummer, but hardly the end of the world. it is nice to palce well and we all work for it, but I think we all know it is not the only reason we ride.

I have a kid that rides my older gelding and she was showing him in hunters this year at schooling shows. He often places low in hunters because he moves differently than many of the horses (though he moves very well) and is naturally upheaded (he is a morgan). I told her she probably wouldn't place well. She didn't. In fact, horses with obvious errors (chips, breaks in gait, knocked rails, etc.) placed over her despite her not having any obvious errors in her courses. My words to her were that she rode well but she needs to keep working on her riding so she can take the horse in jumpers where he belongs. I think that sportsmanship can sometimes be couched in something like that that motivates the kid still without saying that I felt the judge shoul have placed things differently . I do understand it is frustrating though as I wish her good rides had been better rewarded even if the horse isn't the typical hunter.

I guess all that to say, as others have said before me...with schooling shows sometimes you just have to know they are just for the experience. But no mtter what you and kids can learn from it...doesn't mean you shoudln't be frustrated by the results, just be careful how it comes across to the kids and people around you.

findeight
Oct. 14, 2009, 11:39 AM
"Schooling shows" takes in alot of territory. Having lived on both coasts, the south and in the middle, I can say that, if there are alot of USEF rated shows within easy driving distance? You have a larger concentration of good trainers and nice schooling shows, some rated thru the regional USEF affiliates, which produce nice horses. Also produce exhibitors with a good knowledge of the rules and better paid officials because that is what exhibitors expect and they are willing to pay for.

BUT...some areas are pretty bad simply because they don't get any exposure to better levels or anything with rules or standards. Few good trainers because of few rated shows, or none within a days drive. And they go cheap (or free) for anybody working the show.

I have no idea what OPs local shows are like but, judging from her posts, it's somewhere in between these two examples.

I am lucky where I live, they are good and mostly regionally USEF affiliate rated with carded judges or very experienced ones that get paid decent.

Seen too many elsewhare that were just gosh awful. Almost to the joke level.

Lord Helpus
Oct. 14, 2009, 11:55 AM
If you look at USEF Rule EQ 110, it states that a rider is eliminated for three cumulative refusals, with the exception of the USEF Medal Finals, the USEF Pony Medal Finals, and the Maclay Finals, where a rider is eliminated after two refusals. Presumably this is to move the day along with the large number of entries in those classes. It's a relatively recent rule change from the traditional three refusals at Finals.

In that same rule, it states that a refusal, loss of stirrup, loss of rein, or trot on course may be considered major faults and cause for elimination, though it's rare to see someone eliminated solely for those things.

Well! It seems that the Judge was within her rights not to pin refusals.:) Perhaps all the people so ready to tar and feather her need to read the rule book first?

Rare/schmare. It IS not illegal to eliminate someone for one refusal. The judge had every right to do so. That she allowed the children to finish the course and receive the benefit for which they came (experience) demonstrates that she was cognizant of the purpose of a local schooling show. But she also must have believed that part of the learning experience was to learn that one had to achieve a certain standard of performance before being rewarded with a ribbon.

Judging from the sense of entitlement seen in all area of sports/competition nowadays, I applaud this judge. Standards have been lowered so as to be meaninglerss because EVERYONE is given something because "we want little Susie to feel good about herself for paticipating".

Pardon my French, but screw that. Competition is about succeeding, not just participating. If you have a personal best on any given day, that should be enough to feel good about an effort. But it should not be rewarded by a Judge. A Judge's role is to award prizes to those who succeed according to a certain standard; a Judge is not hired to make Susie feel good merely for participating.

PS: After all these years I now know why Brian Lenahan only gave out 9 ribbons in an A/O classic when I managed to drop my reins coming down the last line of the second round (10 were called back -- I was called back next to last (2nd place)). I left out a stride jumping in, got left behind, lost my reins :eek: -- horse was a saint, cantered down to the last jump in correct # of strides and jumped it perfectly. :D I expected 10th. But got nothing. :D Deserved nothing. :winkgrin: Did not complain. :yes: Brian knew the rules. :D:D:D:D:D

findeight
Oct. 14, 2009, 11:58 AM
Amen Pam.

Trixie
Oct. 14, 2009, 12:03 PM
Judging from the sense of entitlement seen in all area of sports/competition nowadays, I applaud this judge. Standards have been lowered so as to be meaninglerss because EVERYONE is given something because "we want little Susie to feel good about herself for paticipating".

Pardon my French, but screw that. Competition is about succeeding, not just participating. If you have a personal best on any given day, that should be enough to feel good about an effort. But it should not be rewarded by a Judge. A Judge's role is to award prizes to those who succeed according to a certain standard; a Judge is not hired to make Susie feel good merely for participating.

:yes:

We need an adequate cheering icon.

RugBug
Oct. 14, 2009, 12:21 PM
Judging from the sense of entitlement seen in all area of sports/competition nowadays, I applaud this judge. Standards have been lowered so as to be meaninglerss because EVERYONE is given something because "we want little Susie to feel good about herself for paticipating".

Pardon my French, but screw that. Competition is about succeeding, not just participating. If you have a personal best on any given day, that should be enough to feel good about an effort. But it should not be rewarded by a Judge. A Judge's role is to award prizes to those who succeed according to a certain standard; a Judge is not hired to make Susie feel good merely for participating.

Woohoo! :yes::D

luvs2ridewbs
Oct. 14, 2009, 12:21 PM
I don't think this thread is about entitlement. Yes I think a judge should penalize poor riding. Its about a judge being held accountable for his or her decisions. I don't think judges are infallible. I do think they should be aware of the standard by which they are judging. Is having competant judges such an unpopular opinion? There are standards for a reason. Without them, it is a free for all.

findeight
Oct. 14, 2009, 12:45 PM
Well, we were not there and we did not see it and are dependent on somebody who admits their own riders had major errors, like stops.

I'm not willing to condemn that judge based on that. If these kids had major errors like run outs or stops or appeared unsafe? I would not complain that they did not get second to last or last place just to take home a ribbon because they were left over after the better performances earned them. We have discussed doing just that-not giving a low ribbon to bad trips just because there is a ribbon left. IMO it's a good idea.

We also do not know what that judge knew or was told about whatever rules were purportedly being followed. May honestly have not known about the martingale as they are allowed some places at this level show. Or may not have noticed if she was sitting outside the ring above ground level looking at a large group. Show may have needed a last minute replacement or may have gone on the cheap and ended up with an inexperienced novice. Who knows?

And the thing about the bad mover? Well, without seeing that entire class, just have to assume the better mover made an error or got nailed for something unconventional (pelham converter or something). Or the judge hated something about the one and loved something about the other.

We just don't know so it's all hypothetical anyway. But I sure never slammed a judge when I sucked or patted myself on the back for bad trips-heck, I've been too embarrasssed to even pick up the ribbon.

DMK
Oct. 14, 2009, 01:05 PM
When you get 2 missed leads, 5 chips, a flyer vs found all the jumps but hangs a leg over every one vs trotted in/cantered out each line....it's harder to be right. What do you penalize most? Trotting? Horribly inconsistent? Dangerous form?

And then you get into fine details like what's MORE dangerous? Or of all the wrong things, what's more wrong. Not a job I envy, and of course the ones MOST qualified to make that decision are never found judging at those shows! :lol:

OP -ya do come off as complaining and that's the impression I got from the title (first impressions and all that). That's probably not a good one to put out there.

Jsalem
Oct. 14, 2009, 01:12 PM
I have to agree with those supporting the judge. That was my first thought when reading the original post. Seriously? You want a ribbon when your horse didn't go around? I don't think so.

I judged a schooling show recently and had the experience of pinning the obviously poor mover over a better quality horse. I called the rider of the nice horse over and explained myself. She was very polite and receptive. I told her that I thought her horse was lovely, but couldn't reward his way of going. She was strangling him to the point that he was crawling at the trot and 4 beating at the canter. I rewarded a less quality animal with a better way of going. Nobody said Boo.

MHM
Oct. 14, 2009, 03:37 PM
Well! It seems that the Judge was within her rights not to pin refusals.:) Perhaps all the people so ready to tar and feather her need to read the rule book first?



Read the rule book before you criticize??

Nah! Where's the fun in that?!? :lol: