View Full Version : Would you say something?

Oct. 12, 2009, 04:53 PM
Here's the scene - and yes, under an alter so I don't get recognized.

At a C show this weekend to get some jumper experience. They have these shows every six weeks or so. They start at 2'6" and max out at 3'3". Lots of really scary 3' rounds, including some jumpoffs that made me want to cry.

But, here's the big thing. At every one of these shows, this father-daughter team show up with their little eventing pony. Cute pony, jumps its guts out. But they proceed to show this poor little pony in NINE classes per day! As in, the start at the 2'9" classes, and do all the classes from there through the 3'3" classes.

And its not a good ride either - this girl (wearing a safety vest, btw) simply runs the pony at every dadgum jump. Finally at 3'3" yesterday, the pony started to give out. It just couldn't jump itself out of the horrible spots this kid put it into. In the next to last class, the pony stopped twice, once in the middle of the one-stride, because it simply knew it couldn't save itself. But of course, that didn't stop Daddy and his girl - they went, jumped another five warm-up jumps, and then took the pony BACK IN to make it scramble another round.

I don't get this - it's not like its a different course when they raise the jumps. It's the same three courses every dang time, just raising it up.

At what point could/should someone say something? I seriously thought about calling the steward. I've thought about it several times at these shows, especially when the temperature has been in the 90's, and the pony just looks exhausted.

I'm just frustrated that this little pony is getting worn down, and eventually he's going to have a really bad stop, and someone is going to get really hurt.

My flame suit is on, so let me know what you think......

S A McKee
Oct. 12, 2009, 04:56 PM
I guess this is a replay of the recent thread on overshowing??

If it was a USEF rated show you can speak with the steward.

As it seems you were upset I'd hope you did exactly that. If you didn't then it's too late now so what's the point of the thread?

Oct. 12, 2009, 04:59 PM
Were you at Sedgefield, KingoftheRoad?

Oct. 12, 2009, 05:07 PM
As it happens, I was. And the reason for the thread is because I've seen this happen at least the last two of these shows I was at, and I'm sure it will happen again at the next one, so I'm trying to figure out if I should say something or not.


Oct. 12, 2009, 06:01 PM
I actually came across the same issue in my city. A couple people approached the stewards after a girl showed her horse in four bigger classes. (two 1.15s and two 1.20s) and they were essentially brushed off with the steward telling them not to be petty just because the girl was winning.
Personally I understand where youre coming from. Horses already do enough for us as it is, pushing them to the point of exhaustion is unacceptable in my books.

Oct. 12, 2009, 06:32 PM
As incorrect as you think that it may be for the girl to jump her pony around so much, I don't know that it would be worth saying anything. Chances are that the steward won't or can't do anything about it, and unless it is stated in the prize book that you can only enter [x] amount of classes, there unfortunately wouldn't really be official grounds for comments. With that said, I personally think that 9 classes a day is a tad bit too much.

Oct. 12, 2009, 06:48 PM
I hate to see this happen. Unfortunately there are people out there that don't understand what they are doing. It upsets me too!! You could try saying something just to make you feel like you tried to stop it but I don't know if anything could be done. However, maybe if it is even just brought to the owner's attention they will recognize how wrong it is and take it easy next time. It's worth a try because seeing something as irresponsible as this shouldn't put a damper on your show, it should never happen! :(

Oct. 12, 2009, 06:53 PM
well, our local associations have a 7 jumping class per day limit...sounds like you should bring that up to your local assoaciation.

Oct. 12, 2009, 06:59 PM
Perhaps suggesting a rule change to the appropriate committee or management person would help. You can always contend that cross entering every division seems a bit... unsporting.

Personally, I would say something to the steward; I believe that we have rules about the welfare of the horse as well as sportsmanlike behavior that they could invoke if they chose.

This is the form that is used: http://www.usef.org/documents/competitions/EyewitnessAbusRpt.pdf

Oct. 12, 2009, 08:23 PM
Are you a pro by chance? Do these people come with a trainer?

Maybe they just don't know better, don't have any help and need some guidance. Maybe you could approach them next time, compliment the pony, make a statement about the appropriate fence height, give them your card and HELP THEM!!

I hate seeing things like this too. In my experience They'll either welcome your approach or be put off. You've got a 50/50 chance of improving the pony's life. And thank goodness the kid is wearing a vest if it's that scary!!:eek:

Oct. 13, 2009, 11:35 AM
I DO feel very sorry for the horses that are victims of this, but on the other hand... isn't it Darwins most famous law? They will kill themselves off eventually...

Oct. 13, 2009, 12:36 PM
I DO feel very sorry for the horses that are victims of this, but on the other hand... isn't it Darwins most famous law? They will kill themselves off eventually...

Its just to bad they'll take a nice pony with them.

Bring it up the steward, bring it up to the show management. As was said, maybe the organization will consider a rule change.

Oct. 13, 2009, 12:42 PM
No, I'm not a pro - I'm another amateur who had my horse there, but I think, and correct me if anyone else was there and I'm wrong, I think it was bleedin' obvious to everyone there that the pony had run out of gas, and yet they continued to push it to go around the same course yet again. When the pony stopped in the middle of the one-stride, because it had to scramble to put two strides in to be able to jump out of the combination and it was just too tired, that would have been my stopping point.

But instead these people went right back in to do it again. For a medium sized pony, 3'3" is already a stretch. But 3'3" after doing five other classes, including some screaming fast jumpoffs, is just asking too much.

I'm trying to figure out whether I ought to try and get in touch with show management before the next show to see if they can change the rules ahead of time. But then, I wish I could envision some world where I could go say something to the dad, and actually have him listen, rather than just get defensive/stupid.....

Oct. 13, 2009, 01:06 PM
KingOfTheRoad - I competed against this girl on Sunday in the 3' (I did two 2'6 and one 3' and I couldn't have imagined putting my little girl through another class). Yes it was painfully obvious that that little pony was jumping his guts out. It seems to be a father daughter team there without a trainer. The kid actually told me she is aiming for Pony Finals 2011 with that pony (who surprisingly enough is a large). I left after the 3' and I figured that pony would be done too.

I'm not sure if there is any way to achieve what you hope will come of talking to them or anyone, but know that you are not alone in seeing what you saw.

Oct. 13, 2009, 01:52 PM
^So maybe BOTH of you should bring it up to management next time.

Oct. 13, 2009, 02:19 PM
The folks at Sedgefield have been known to ban people from their shows in the past for scary and dangerous riding....I would bring it up to managment.

Oct. 13, 2009, 02:35 PM
What a terrible shame and what a way to burn out the pony. Even though show management is protected by law, wouldn't there be a liability issue here for the grounds owners? What is said pony seriously injures this child by stopping?

I agree, band together and see if more than one complaint can help the pony out. I would never dream of asking our medium pony to jump 3'3" and she can do it, but not 12 times in one course, let alone more than that.

We have a girl who competes on our circuit in both the 2'3" open divisin and the 2'3" pony hunter making her grand total on the day like 14 classes, 3 flatting and 10 jumping. Pony is so tired at the end of they day they have screamed at her to spur a hole in him. Poor pony!

Oct. 13, 2009, 02:36 PM
If it were me: I would step in the next time I witnessed this.
Talk to the dad-
How old is the girl?

I assume the child is not winning/placing very often? If you don't think this guy would listen to reason, I always try the "throwing good money after bad" route.

They keep going to shows, entering tons of classes-which is not cheap. To lose. You said the pony is a nice pony-which means that either they paid money for it, or the kid has had some coaching in the past.

Oct. 13, 2009, 02:47 PM
While I disagree that 3ft3 is too big for ponies, I do agree that too many classes is bad! BUT, I believe that it is not your place to approach the child, their trainer (if they have one) of the parents. Do what others have advised, and bring it up to the association. They may be very willing to add a rule with a limit to how many classes can be done in one day, or some other rule that will help with the over showing of horses!

For example, our Provincial assocation set up a rule after a number of complaints, that if you won more 3 championships at 3ft3 with the same horse & rider then you couldn't show in that division anymore unless you rode a different horse!

Oct. 13, 2009, 03:21 PM
I also disagree that 3'3 is too big for ponies. I'm almost certain that the ponies jump 3'9 in the final rounds at pony finals. I know my mare is 14.2h and is barely challenged at all by the 3'3 fences we have done. I mentioned in my post that her pony is a large. 14.1 1/8h the kid told me. The girl is young, maybe 13 and it seemed like they weren't with a trainer. I saw kid leading dad around on the pony by the trailer. Seemed more like ignorance than trying to ask to much of the pony. The kid loves her pony and has high hopes for them as a team. The pony was not fancy by any means, but tries its little heart out. I left after the 3' like I said so I hadn't really given her a second thought. I hadn't thought she was going to continue so I didn't really give it much thought til I read this thread.

Oct. 13, 2009, 03:22 PM
That's awful :no:

However, IRRC (and correct me if i am wrong) a judge/management CAN do something about it during the show if the judge believes the riding is excessively dangerous (and lets face it, if you've got a kid gunning a medium pony around a 3'3" course.. NINE TIMES.. that's dangerous)

the pair can be eliminated, and depending on the management, they may even choose to ban them from coming back to their show. I know plenty of places who have banned people.

Oct. 13, 2009, 03:29 PM
Also not that it makes it any better, but its worth noting that these showgrounds run two classes at each level. Two 2'9 classes, two 3' classes, two 3'3 classes.

ETA: I still think its too many classes, especially at that height. I was just throwing it out there

Oct. 13, 2009, 05:04 PM
While that may be too many classes for the pony, but I agree the height is not that bad for a pony. Also I think many people are way too cautious about over doing it with their horses. If your horse is fit show days are not hard on them. The number of classes are not nearly the problem as much as amount of time horse is ridden at the show. Many of these horses at these C shows (I am from around there) often do 6 jumping classes and 2 flat or so a day. But many of the times there is limited warm up jumps, and once their classes are over the kids get off and take care of the horse until their next class.

So yes 9 is a lot of jumper classes (more jumps, and jump-offs). But I just want to point out that horses are a lot sturdier than people think. I am sure that pony is ridden hard at home as well and is fit. My horse is 20 and can still handle 6 jumping classes at 2'6" for the weekend. School horses are jumped nearly every day and are fine. Flat work is important for the horses training, but hard flat work can be just as hard on the horses as jumping. Ok so my little rant is over :)

I do hope that the kid gets some good instruction sometime as it sounds like she has some guts and a decent pony.

Oct. 13, 2009, 05:07 PM
If the pony was quitting, he clearly ISN'T fit to do that many classes in a day.

Oct. 13, 2009, 06:16 PM
I've jumped 9 courses in several lessons before and it never made anyone more than a little bit tired.

Oct. 14, 2009, 10:15 AM
There is a difference between riding courses at home, and riding classes at a show, which include jumpoffs.

Just to clarify, on one day, there were two 2'9" classes, one with a jumpoff. Then there were three 3' classes, one Ch/Ad, the Ch/Ad classic, and a Level 1, one of these was power and speed, and the other two had jumpoffs. Then there were two more 3'3" classes, one power and speed and one jumpoff.

Again, anyone could tell the pony was VERY tired. I don't so much have an issue with the height of the jumps, but these jumps are NOT set for pony strides. Meaning that the pony had to do 1.5 - 2 strides in the one-stride, 4-5 strides in the 2 stride, and so forth. Now, IF the father had trained his daughter that this would be the case, that might be one thing. But instead, the ride for this team is to run at every fence. As a result, the pony ends up on that 1.5 stride, and has to exert a HUGE effort to try and get over the 3'3" oxer at the end of the combination.

It was evident to me that the pony could not take much more, as should have been obvious to anybody that watched the pony stop twice in the first 3'3" class. They weren't mean stops, they were self-preservation, I'm going to wreck myself if I don't park it stops. But what did kid do? Run at the same combination even faster, with even less caution. I really wanted to scream. I was glaring at the dad, because I was too chicken to say something, but he was too busy taking pics of his little girl to notice she was about to get flung into the jumps.

Maybe I will try to talk to the show management before the next show, and see if they can do something about putting limits on this. I'm sure the kid loves the pony, but I don't know why they can't see they are wearing him out. Every round is a full out gallop, and it's only because the pony is so sweet and trying that he manages to get around at all.

Oct. 14, 2009, 01:30 PM
Poor pony. Please do say something. Sedgefield are good about such matters. I know the steward there spoke to a trainer about excessive crop use.