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View Full Version : Spinoff - medal qualifiers- local shows - poss. solution



Joyrider
Dec. 1, 2009, 10:36 PM
Hi all,

I read through the whole thread about the proposed USHJA rule change for the eq. qualifiers and wanted to start a discussion about medal points in general. Some of these scenarios are not necessarily for national medals but for local medals. I will start with a series of been there done that's and then offer a possible solution.

Has this ever happened to you?
1. You are a kid wanting to get points - NEEDING to get points. You and your mom schlep to east overshoe to ride in the medal class you need. You've already called show management and they assure you that "YES" the medal will run. It will fill for certain. You get there. You wait and wait and wait (medal classes are often held at the very end of the day wouldn't you agree?). Then, you warm-up, get to the ingate and "oh, sorry, Susie's horse went lame and the Jones's decided to go home because it is getting late. Medal is cancelled today."

2. You are a trainer with a wonderful kid. You kill yourself to schelp kid to east overshoe to get those last few points. You wait, wait, wait. Only three in the class. The class specifies their must be four. Medal cancelled.

3. You are local show management. Trainers x,y, and z prompt you to hold medal classes. They will come! They promise! You go ahead and pay to get the necessary affiliations, hire the steward, hire the big rated judge, hire the vet practice, hire the farrier. No one shows up for the medal classes. If you didn't offer those classes in the first place, you wouldn't have barely broke even - you may have made enough to spring for pizza for your clean up crew.

4. You are show management. You expect a good turnout for your offered medal classes. Jane Shmane called you yesterday to find out if the medal will fill. You assure her it will. She comes from 2 hours away and waits, waits, waits. Well, Suzie's horse goes lame, the Jones's have left and now you feel like crap having to tell Jane that her medal class is cancelled!!!

How about this??? Instead of riders having to beat other riders (minimum of 4 in a class most times). Why isn't there a system in place where riders must achieve a certain score? Or a "gold"? For example...

System in place now at the local level...Rider A - two chips and a scary long and weak. Rider B - refusal at first fence. Rider C lost a stirrup - rough at the in and out, messy overall. Rider D - added in the in and out and two major chips. Rider A is the winner by default really. She gets points and may be EXACTLY the rider who ends up squeaking by at the local level earning points by default and then getting in over her head at the finals.

System I propose...Rider A receives score of 64. Rider B receives score of 40. Rider C receives score of 40. Rider D receives score of 55. NO ONE GETS POINTS because they are all below the cut off. Rider must receive say 2 scores of 95 and/or above OR 4 scores of 89 and/or above OR 8 scores of 85 and/or above for the show season.

OR- some system like this...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now say you are at a big HITS show and there are 68 in the medal class. 10 riders have a brilliant round. They receive a "gold" designation or certificate or what have you. 15 riders have decent rounds (think mid-high 80's). They receive a "silver" recognition. The rest are mediocre and receive "bronze". To qualify for the finals, riders must have earned say three "gold" distinctions or 8 "silver" distinctions within the show season.

Now, say you are Jane Shmane and you are at the local show and you are the only entrant. Show management can RUN your class - NO MATTER WHAT!!! Because you are riding for a standard designation not because you have to beat others. If the entrant comes to the show to ride a medal round, it can be done and will be done - NO MATTER WHAT. If they get the high score or "gold" that they need - terrific. If they fail, management still gets class entry $$, the kid at least got to try, and the kid will now go to another show to try. Not a bad thing all around. Heck, to say that you earned a "gold" would be quite an achievement in itself and that may be enough for some riders.

Joyrider
Dec. 1, 2009, 10:42 PM
Just think of the revenue generation a gold,silver,bronze system would have. The Chronicle would be full of congratulatory ads for Suzie earning a "gold". And trainer A says to Trainer B, I have a nice horse for your kid. He won two "gold's" for my kid last month. Everyone would know exactly what kind of round a competitor had instead of the best of the worst winning a blue ribbon.

dainty do
Dec. 1, 2009, 11:04 PM
I'm an (oldish) adult, but for some odd reason, it is my dream to qualify for the state medal finals. Most of the time, the classes fill, but toward the end of the year, the classes can "point out". (If you have won more than x-points -i.e. two blue ribbons- than you can no longer compete.) I have competed late in the year before and have been disapppointed that there were not enough entries. Thats just the way it goes. Maybe next year. I feel your pain.

The only solution I can think of is to bring some "friends" along who can "get around" but possibly not do that great. This means they should get a refusal or two, or, they must "chip" in at least two lines.

Void
Dec. 1, 2009, 11:14 PM
I'm an (oldish) adult, but for some odd reason, it is my dream to qualify for the state medal finals. Most of the time, the classes fill, but toward the end of the year, the classes can "point out". (If you have won more than x-points -i.e. two blue ribbons- than you can no longer compete.) I have competed late in the year before and have been disapppointed that there were not enough entries. Thats just the way it goes. Maybe next year. I feel your pain.

The only solution I can think of is to bring some "friends" along who can "get around" but possibly not do that great. This means they should get a refusal or two, or, they must "chip" in at least two lines.

Hahaha I actually qualified for Halter Championships this year (which ended up being a huge disappointment but that is a different bucket of snakes) and to qualify I had to actually pay for my friends to enter their horses in the classes because I was the only one interested. Lucky me my horse is quite handsome and beat them out for the points.

MistyPony
Dec. 1, 2009, 11:19 PM
Hahaha I actually qualified for Halter Championships this year (which ended up being a huge disappointment but that is a different bucket of snakes) and to qualify I had to actually pay for my friends to enter their horses in the classes because I was the only one interested. Lucky me my horse is quite handsome and beat them out for the points.

Totally off topic but "bucket of snakes" made me actually snort out loud when I read it. I have never heard that expression and I am going to find a way to work it into a conversation tomorrow if it kills me!

Back to the subject...it's an interesting idea. I think the challenge would be standardizing the judging. Think of it as college where you took a giant lecture but then everyone had different graduate students teaching and grading homework. At the end of the semester the main professor had to recalibrate the scores to take into account which grad students graded easier than others.

alteringwego
Dec. 2, 2009, 09:36 AM
very interesting idea. I recently made a comment to our local association board members about having points calculated based off of numbers of entries. So the number of points is multiplied by the number of entrants. So....
3 entries would be
1st (10 points) x 3 = 30 points
2nd (6 points) x 3 = 18 points
3rd (4 points) x 3 = 12 points

but would reward someone who won out of more entries

10 entries would be
1st (10 points) x 10 = 100 points
2nd (6) x 10 = 60 points
3rd (4) x 10 = 40 points
4th (2) x 10 = 20
5th (1) x 10 = 10
6th (1/2) x 10 = 5

Would qualify those for finals who really deserve to be there and not the ones that have been 3rd out of 3 at 10 shows.

Rockfish
Dec. 2, 2009, 10:38 AM
very interesting idea. I recently made a comment to our local association board members about having points calculated based off of numbers of entries. So the number of points is multiplied by the number of entrants. So....
3 entries would be
1st (10 points) x 3 = 30 points
2nd (6 points) x 3 = 18 points
3rd (4 points) x 3 = 12 points

but would reward someone who won out of more entries

10 entries would be
1st (10 points) x 10 = 100 points
2nd (6) x 10 = 60 points
3rd (4) x 10 = 40 points
4th (2) x 10 = 20
5th (1) x 10 = 10
6th (1/2) x 10 = 5

Would qualify those for finals who really deserve to be there and not the ones that have been 3rd out of 3 at 10 shows.

some associations do that, like the VHSA but then STILL require a certain amount to fill the class (as in completes the course, not just sign up).

JinxyFish313
Dec. 2, 2009, 11:03 AM
I think it would be interesting to have a handicapping formula like in golf, where riders get scores and so do the courses/classes. If your course contains x,y,z types of obstacles/questions and x number of riders with such and such handicap compete, the class gets this rating...which is then factored into your handicap moving on. Take the riders with the "best" handicap score for finals.

War Admiral
Dec. 2, 2009, 11:18 AM
very interesting idea. I recently made a comment to our local association board members about having points calculated based off of numbers of entries. So the number of points is multiplied by the number of entrants. So....
3 entries would be
1st (10 points) x 3 = 30 points
2nd (6 points) x 3 = 18 points
3rd (4 points) x 3 = 12 points

but would reward someone who won out of more entries

10 entries would be
1st (10 points) x 10 = 100 points
2nd (6) x 10 = 60 points
3rd (4) x 10 = 40 points
4th (2) x 10 = 20
5th (1) x 10 = 10
6th (1/2) x 10 = 5

Would qualify those for finals who really deserve to be there and not the ones that have been 3rd out of 3 at 10 shows.

FWIW, the Saddlebred industry already does this.

But also FWIW, I like the OP's proposal a lot better - no offense! I like it b/c it addresses one of the real issues out here on Planet Ordinary Horse Show, which is schlepping to East B.F. only to have the class not fill. Nice thinking!!

hellerkm
Dec. 2, 2009, 11:20 AM
I love the Gold Silver Bronze idea, I read the other thread and was irritated at the thought of smaller shows loosing the Eq classes, but agreed that there are kids who make it and should not be there, it makes the finals HUGE and they take forever to run.
The suggested Gold Silver Bronze system would solve a ton of issues!! Way to think outside the BOX!!!

blackcat95
Dec. 2, 2009, 06:22 PM
Really like the gold silver bronze idea. It would solve sooo many issues at local shows where even the local medals don't fill sometimes because the classes are so small. Let alone the regional medals, because usually only about 1 person at the entire show comes (just because they need the points) and they lose their shot at finals. It's so disappointing.

shawneeAcres
Dec. 2, 2009, 06:32 PM
THis is a remarkably great idea, it appears to be somewhat patterned after (altough the OP may not know about) the qualifying in dressage. THere a percentage score is used and I believe you ahve to earn a certain number of scores above that percentage to qualify. Makes MUCHO sense to me! Then, as long as the judge is qualified to judge such rides, it shouldn't make a bit of difference where suzy shows!

War Admiral
Dec. 2, 2009, 07:03 PM
Somebody needs to Email this to USHJA ASAP. I've been mulling it over all afternoon and I can't see any holes in it.

In the Air
Dec. 2, 2009, 08:33 PM
I am a trainer who can answer yes to one and two. ;);)

I hate going all the way to a show and having to shell out for a stall and hotel and all the rest and then go home without ever having shown... plus still writing a big check to the show for the stall, grounds fee, office fee, shavings, drugs fees, etc.... I think the OP's idea is fabulous.

toomanyponies
Dec. 2, 2009, 10:43 PM
To play devils advocate here a bit - in principle I like the idea - in fact I like it a lot because I hate when people qualify by being the best of the worst. . . .

BUT the hole is that it would require more parity in scoring across judges - more agreement about what constitutes what scores and have it written into the rules. Right now there are guidelines but what is emphasized when you are learning to judge is to get the order right. So if you say start out giving and 80 and realize maybe that was too high, you just stay high. So Suzie ends up on top if she is the winner whether or not she has a 90 or an 82.

Hunter Mom
Dec. 3, 2009, 12:04 PM
or do something like they do at dog shows. To finish a dog (or in this case to qualify) you have to have a specific number of points. Part of those have to be "majors" meanign you got 3 points by beating a larger number of riders.

For example:
If you beat 1-3 riders, you get 1 point
If you beat 4-6 riders, you get 2 points
If you beat 7-11 riders, you get 3 points
If you beat 12-15 riders, you get 4 points
If you beat 16+ riders, you get 5 points

Wins of 3-5 points count as majors. You must get a total of 15 points to qualify, and at least one of those wins must be a major. Then, at least once, you have to beat out a fairly good sized class, but you should always have a chance to get at least a point.

Joyrider
Dec. 4, 2009, 09:50 AM
Not sure but I think Qh or maybe saddlebreds have some sort of "beating others = more points" which for show managers + show sec'ys seems complicated. Also, you are still in the system of having to beat others and that becomes a problem when the quality of "the others" is very poor and so the winner ends up being the best of the worst which can happen at the local level. Wow, that was a long run-on sentence! The beauty of the Gold, Silver, Bronze system is that only the cream of the crop will be rewarded and that is who should be going to the finals. Also, NOT having to beat others means that medal classes can run at the small shows with only one or two or three entries.

findeight
Dec. 4, 2009, 10:30 AM
Well, you would need to propose overhauling the EQ judging and establishing specific set standards for numerical scores with no deviations permitted. That would entail alot of research, some focus groups and a whole lot of work developing many, many pages listing -10 pts, for lost stirrup, -5 pts for foot placement in iron, -8 pts for open fingers on reins, -8 for this that and the other and then a whole bunch of specific plusses.

The Dover Medal tried this at better level regional and local shows and it is notoriously difficult and time consuming to score. Even with 3 in the class, they needed a scribe. All to come up with the same 3 kids in the same order...and take 25 minutes instead of 5.

I do not buy comparing it to Dressage as a reason for it either...the most complained about topic over there is biased and ouright weird JUDGING...and they HAVE a set standard. Theoretically.

Not in favor of massive systemic overhauls affecting everybody just so so Suzy can get qualified and the East BF show count even though she was the only one in it.

Nationally anyway. You want to do it locally, fine. But be prepared to educate your judges...and give them the lists of specific deductions, a scribe and a calculator.

Jumphigh83
Dec. 4, 2009, 10:46 AM
Ok.. so being the usual voice of gloom and doom, does no one see the potential for ABUSE of this "gold standard" system? Betty Backyard goes to Area Extravaganza Horse Show, her trainer supports the horse show, SHE supports the horse show, horse show hires the judge so what judge in their right mind is going to give Betty Backyard a "tin foil" score? If that judge wants to work again next month (at Area Extravaganza Horse Show), judge will look favorably on Betty, her trainer and the rest of the support system that shores up the local economy, as well as judges OWN pocketbook.
What is it about the eq system in this country (and ONLY this country) that makes it the Holy Grail of any junior riders' horse show career??

KnKShowmom
Dec. 4, 2009, 10:55 AM
Dogs are judged against the standard for their breed, not against the others in the ring with them so in some respects it would be similiar, but would require a huge overhaul of the system.

Could see this possibly working but could take years so come up with the "standard" and then getting every judge on the same page. Time might be better spent in show promotions and planning to try to attract more than the minimun needed to fill the class.

findeight
Dec. 4, 2009, 11:17 AM
There will always be some abuse. Whatever you do-like a Dressage horse misbahaving in a spectacular fashion and winning an Olympic medal despite long standing specific deductions for such nonsense.

But if Susi, who qualified as the sole rider at the East BF shows and Betty, who's show manager and check signing mom "bought" her in?

These two get to the Finals and either fall off, stop at the first fence or whine because the fences were actually set at an honest 3'6" or 3', the course was too hard or they could not properly prepare Wally the wonder horse (by LTD) in the 20 minutes at 2am available for schooling.

In short, they really were not qualified. Part of the qualification process is weeding out the underqualified. Nobody wants to admit that means them and, most trainers will not point out if you are not placing high regularly in these things? You probably will be overfaced at Finals. If you have to "slum" to qualify, you need to look at why.

IMO you get more coming out of Junior Jumpers going on to bigger things. Many do the Big Eq as well but not as a primary focus...and alot of our biggest names never were EQ stars.

Joyrider
Dec. 4, 2009, 06:39 PM
I do not agree that a whole overhaul of judging would be required. In fact I think it would in many ways be EASIER for a judge at the big franchise shows with near 100 in a medal class. With no rank to worry about, the judge can just reward those he/she likes that had a flowing/ beautiful round and then designate the Silver's with the good but not stellar rounds and then the bronze is pretty much everyone else and as soon as he/she knows it is a bronze, the judge can take a mental break. I DON'T think there should necessarily be standard deductions - not any more than what you see now. I mean, sure, a rider loses a stirrup she's getting a bronze automatically. I think if the rider is SOLID and doing a heck of a job and the judge chooses to look away during a late change, or not penalize a rail, it is the same as what a judge does now in the equitation. It is his/her prerogative to weight what they feel is important...just like the subjectivity we see now. I am not at all saying to mimic dressage with their objective (to a standard) judging with a scribe.

This can be soooo easy!!!!
For example..5 riders are in the class. First one rides backward to the first fence...long and weak. Position is a bit loose and she is against her horse on landing. Ok, judge is thinking a bronze right about now. He can take a mental break. Doesn't really have to pay much attention at all in fact (and you know that happens now!!!) Next in, lovely position, effective but oops, had a bucky change and a smidge tight at one. Judge still loves her, gives her a Silver. Maybe another judge would have killed her for it and given her a bronze but this judge likes what he saw overall and gives her the silver. Third rider in...GORGEOUS! Gets a Gold - no question. Fourth in - good first jump, a bit tight at the next then a bit late moving up in the line - bronze - he doesn't love her. Fifth in, Very nice...smooth but just not quite a gold. Gives her a well deserved silver. So we have one gold, two silvers and two bronzes. Tell me what is so difficult about that? In fact EASIER than to have to rank first through fifth I say! Why? Because if they were ranked, the judge would have to give additional thought to which of the two "Silvers" got second and third respectively and then which of the two bronze's get fourth vs. fifth. See what I am saying???

As for the local show judge feeling pressure to reward a good acquaintance who had a mediocre round with a high award ...I think if that happens much, it certainly happens in the current system and in the end it will even out. So, the kid got a non-deserved gold. Doesn't mean she is going to get the two more required that season and if she does...she is one who got lucky and gets to go to finals where she may or may not have an "epic fail". Consistency over time though will bring the cream of the crop to the top.