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View Full Version : Show managers - why not separate AA from open?



cuatx67
Mar. 7, 2010, 10:02 AM
This is not a complaint but a true question.

As an AA I have competed in 2 different regions, in one of those regions the show managers seem to always separate the AA's from the open classes, even if it means one of the classes only has 1 or a small # of entries. In the other region it seems that the classes are rarely split even if the classes are largish (comparatively speaking) with maybe 4 or more AA's and 4 or more opens. I know that ribbons are very inexpensive (I've had to buy them for an event), and the shows that I've been to do not give extravagant prizes to winners, so why not split the classes? Is it that much more work? I've volunteered at many shows but never managed one so I'm really curious - what's the reasoning behind making amateurs compete against professionals?

Bronte
Mar. 7, 2010, 10:19 AM
This is not a complaint but a true question.

As an AA I have competed in 2 different regions, in one of those regions the show managers seem to always separate the AA's from the open classes, even if it means one of the classes only has 1 or a small # of entries. In the other region it seems that the classes are rarely split even if the classes are largish (comparatively speaking) with maybe 4 or more AA's and 4 or more opens. I know that ribbons are very inexpensive (I've had to buy them for an event), and the shows that I've been to do not give extravagant prizes to winners, so why not split the classes? Is it that much more work? I've volunteered at many shows but never managed one so I'm really curious - what's the reasoning behind making amateurs compete against professionals?

Our area makes this decision based on size of class and level. We split all classes Second and lower, regardless of class size. From 3rd up, there has to be three or more from a group, ie Jr, AA, Open, to split the class. Our rationale being that by the time someone is showing 3rd, they are less concerned about who else is in the class.

ESG
Mar. 7, 2010, 10:59 AM
If that happened at a show here, there would be open revolt. I've never been to a USDF sanctioned show in this region where ammys competed against pros. If there's any combining of classes to be done, the juniors are grouped with the open riders; the ammys are always separate, even if there's only one per class, even above 3rd level.

I thought the USDF had rules about this. Anyone know?

Cosette
Mar. 7, 2010, 11:08 AM
Bronte what your area does makes a lot of sense to me, but as an AA showing 3rd I'd rather not compete against professionals.

It is surprising that there is such a variation between areas and show management. I'm also curious if there are USDF rules about it.

Zevida
Mar. 7, 2010, 11:14 AM
When I moved from Region 1 to Texas, I was pretty surprised at how they divided every single class into AA, Open, and Jr. When I was in Region 1, usually they might designate one class of the level as AA or Jr/YR and then they would pin the class twice - first for all (open) and then second you'd get a ribbon based on your AA placing.

I think it is pretty silly the way it is done here, especially since everyone does it as schooling shows as well. It is ridiculous to take 1 class with 4 people and divide it into 3 classes. Are we all really that desperate for a ribbon?

I agree, though, that there would be a revolt if it changed! The people here in TX seem to like the divided classes very much.

ETA: USDF doesn't make rules, USEF does, and I'm pretty sure the only rules surrounding dividing classes are going to be for championships. For open, regular shows, it is going to be at the discretion of management.

Under DR126 it says "When entries warrant competitions are encouraged
to split classes for Adult Amateurs and Junior/Young Riders. "

Ibex
Mar. 7, 2010, 11:19 AM
Here the Jr's usually get lumped in the with AA's, which at the lower levels is grossly unfair to the AAs. Leave us a little dignity please! :lol: (ok, kidding. Sort of.)

Sonesta
Mar. 7, 2010, 01:26 PM
I'm in Houston in Region 9. We are considering having some one-ring schooling shows here and are in planning stages. Our thought has been to divide by junior and amateur, but have pros ride HC only. That way the amateurs don't have to compete against them and the pros are usually there only for mileage on a young horse or practice with a horse before moving up a level. I'd think they'd be satisfied with getting a score and critique and wouldn't care about a 50 cent ribbon.

What do you other Region 9ers think? ESG? Fshgordon?

Cosette
Mar. 7, 2010, 02:02 PM
Hi Sonesta -

I see your point about pros riding HC, but if the ribbons are only 50 cents (or close) why not just separate the classes and let everyone get their little mementos even if they only hang it on their stall for a day? There is something fun about picking up a blue with your test. There is also something fun at looking at the ribbons your group has accumulated over a weekend hanging on a stall.

When I show I go into the ring with a personal goal in mind. I want to ride the test a certain way and hope to end up with a certain score. I usually don't care who is in my class with me because I'm riding for myself - but it is nice to win when I do achieve my goals, and my goals are probably less aspiring than a professionals. Why not keep the playing field even and just separate the classes?

Again, I think the way Bronte described how they handle classes in her area makes sense - I'm talking about bigger classes, not those with just a few entries.

mjhco
Mar. 7, 2010, 02:28 PM
In Colorado, most of the shows offer each class with an AA, Jr, Open option. You specify the division when you enter (and provide AA cards if that is your division).

The classes are pretty much run all at once with AA, JR, Open intermingled so timing becomes not such a factor. The office then places each division. So, an AA might follow an Open ride. An Open ride might follow a JR ride.

It does not HURT anyone to offer prizes for each division. And it certainly promotes good will between the show management and the exhibitors.

Zevida
Mar. 7, 2010, 02:34 PM
I'm in Houston in Region 9. We are considering having some one-ring schooling shows here and are in planning stages. Our thought has been to divide by junior and amateur, but have pros ride HC only. That way the amateurs don't have to compete against them and the pros are usually there only for mileage on a young horse or practice with a horse before moving up a level. I'd think they'd be satisfied with getting a score and critique and wouldn't care about a 50 cent ribbon.

What do you other Region 9ers think? ESG? Fshgordon?

The only thing I would wonder about is that pros are often riding horses owned by their clients in schooling shows and the clients very often want the memento of their horse's performance. If you are already dividing the classes by JR and AA, no reason not to have an Open class as well. All the DDC schooling shows have classes divided that way, as do the schooling shows where I board.

Sonesta
Mar. 7, 2010, 02:34 PM
Ok, I see your points. My thinking was that most pros don't want the embarrassment of NOT doing well with a youngster and riding HC is face-saving. Thus, in our area, VERY FEW pros show in the schooling shows.

I'd love to hear more input on this.

CHT
Mar. 7, 2010, 03:03 PM
Up here I typically see the Jr, AA, and Open all riding in the same block/class, and the results are put up with all three divisions on the same list, but ribbons and championships are presented for each category. I think this is a good way to do it, as you can see how you stacked up for the class overall, but get the ribbons/points for your classification.

mjhco
Mar. 7, 2010, 03:09 PM
Ok, I see your points. My thinking was that most pros don't want the embarrassment of NOT doing well with a youngster and riding HC is face-saving. Thus, in our area, VERY FEW pros show in the schooling shows.

I'd love to hear more input on this.

You can always offer ribbons for all three divisions.

Around here we have some pros that are known for bringing along young horses and/or inexperienced riders. And they do come to the schooling shows. Rated shows not so much.

No, we don't see many. But we do like to encourage all to participate.

Sonesta
Mar. 7, 2010, 03:40 PM
Ok, I'm convinced. Ribbons for all.

Capriole
Mar. 7, 2010, 03:58 PM
I always crack up when people talk about "50 cent ribbons." Have you bought ribbons lately? Think $4-8 each. www.hodgesbadge.com (http://www.hodgesbadge.com) Not that that is a compelling reason not to split classes, but just FYI from a manager's POV.

Sonesta
Mar. 7, 2010, 04:08 PM
Yes, they are quite expensive - especially when you consider that most people (especially pros) just toss them after a show.

inca
Mar. 7, 2010, 04:20 PM
Sonesta - Pros can always enter HC if they are worried about their score being "embarrassing" so I would definitely leave it up to them and run open classes the same as others. And I agree with the poster who said pros are often riding a client's horse and the client will probably want a ribbon.

Heck, I had NO IDEA what to expect first time I showed Dubonnet (I had only owned her 3 months and she can be hot) so I entered a schooling show HC just to take any pressure off me. So, if people want a true schooling experience, there is nothing stopping them from deciding to enter HC.

And yes, as an AA in Region 9, I would be upset if I had to show 3rd level against the pros at Recognized shows (I don't really care about schooling shows because I am usually there just for the experience. Lord knows, I need lots of practice to get good at showing at this level.) I am glad our classes are split.

ESG
Mar. 7, 2010, 07:35 PM
I would treat the open divisions the same as you treat JR and ammy. Whenever you take a client's horse to a show, that client wants the ribbons, believe me. Sort of like justification for the money they spent, I think. In fact, I had a client get downright p!$$ed when I won both my Training level classes on her horse and should have gotten a championship ribbon, only to find that the show wasn't awarding championships in the open division. :rolleyes:

baylady7
Mar. 12, 2010, 11:37 AM
I have worked shows that did and shows that did not (But could have). It is basically the manager's decision. I think it is silly not to split if the entries are sufficient. Let's more folks take home a ribbon, have happy memories and gives you free advertising!!! After all, your show name is on the ribbon. Pennywise and pound foolish not to split, imho.

Arizona DQ
Mar. 12, 2010, 12:47 PM
Here the Jr's usually get lumped in the with AA's, which at the lower levels is grossly unfair to the AAs. Leave us a little dignity please! :lol: (ok, kidding. Sort of.)


I agree. Or maybe give us a "Mature Class" ???:D

Cowgirl
Mar. 12, 2010, 05:16 PM
I'm not sure how I feel about this. USDF splits the divisions, so why shouldn't the local shows for awards purposes? Our classes are usually run together and only split in the office, so it's not like you get any special consideration being in a different division. I think it's tough to expect an amateur riding one horse, maybe not even every day, to compete for the prizes against pros who ride six or more horses a day. By the same token, our shows have stopped giving good prizes for winning classes as the recession took it's toll, so what does it matter? LOL!

Silver~Image~Farm
Mar. 12, 2010, 05:40 PM
When I moved from Region 1 to Texas, I was pretty surprised at how they divided every single class into AA, Open, and Jr. When I was in Region 1, usually they might designate one class of the level as AA or Jr/YR and then they would pin the class twice - first for all (open) and then second you'd get a ribbon based on your AA placing.

I think it is pretty silly the way it is done here, especially since everyone does it as schooling shows as well. It is ridiculous to take 1 class with 4 people and divide it into 3 classes. Are we all really that desperate for a ribbon?

I agree, though, that there would be a revolt if it changed! The people here in TX seem to like the divided classes very much.

ETA: USDF doesn't make rules, USEF does, and I'm pretty sure the only rules surrounding dividing classes are going to be for championships. For open, regular shows, it is going to be at the discretion of management.

Under DR126 it says "When entries warrant competitions are encouraged
to split classes for Adult Amateurs and Junior/Young Riders. "

LOL......I have mixed feelings about this....as an AA it IS nice to get those silly ribbons/trophies and all that:winkgrin:....BTDT:cool:......still it's also kind of silly when folks brag about championships and then you realize there were more "champions" than entries in the class:lol:.....I prefer to keep my own performance "in perspective" and competing in region one with so much GOOD competition does that for me!;) (other regions are different from region 1!)

see u at x
Mar. 12, 2010, 05:52 PM
I'm an A/A and I about had a heart attack a few years ago when I went to a USDF show just to compete both Intro tests on my horse, and I saw JJ Tate's name listed as riding the same test as me. :eek: I'm not sure if it was a mistake or if she simply ended up scratching the test, but she didn't do the test after all. On one hand, it would have been a thrill to ride the same test as her (even knowing that she would probably score MUCH higher than myself), but on the other hand I was relieved that I didn't have to face the embarrassment of going in the arena following her ride. :lol:

whicker
Mar. 12, 2010, 06:22 PM
Years ago, when I was starting to event, the lowest class I could find was novice. I showed up to ride my dressage test and realized that I had Bruce Davidson on the horse in front of me. He already was a world champion at that point. Talk about intimidated! :eek:

His horse spent most of its time in the warm-up on his hind legs. My horse and I got more and more tense watching and trying to look like we knew what we were doing. Bruce's horse reared and plunged his way around the outside of the ring and had an extremely "bouncy" test.

I gulped and went in for our test. My careful horse got to X and reared for the salute! I guess he thought that was what a salute should be..
The rest of the test was memorable for my not breathing and turning blue.

Bruce won the class. I was in last place after dressage. His horse was Might Tango, who went on to become the world champion. Mine went on with me, an AA, to do well in the upper levels of eventing.

I think AA's need all the encouragement we can get. At this point, I would love to see a class for those of us who have gotten longer in tooth, but still have a gleam in the eye. Maybe name it for the Monty Python motto, "I'm Not Dead Yet!":D

dressappy
Mar. 12, 2010, 06:39 PM
I'm still curious where we can get 50 cent ribbons from?
I get my ribbons from Michelle Melton who has a terrific rate at 1.35 per ribbon. (If you are interested in switching she's having a special offer pm me) But most other places are 2.50 or more.

I manage a very small schooling series. We tend to get a lot of intro levels, so I tried to split evenly. Most our riders are adult ams, so they're rarely enough young riders.

Cowgirl
Mar. 12, 2010, 06:46 PM
I think AA's need all the encouragement we can get. At this point, I would love to see a class for those of us who have gotten longer in tooth, but still have a gleam in the eye. Maybe name it for the Monty Python motto, "I'm Not Dead Yet!":D

In California, they already do this. They added both a Master's Division (you have to be over age 45) and a Green Horse/Green Rider Division (where either the horse or the rider is considered green at the level based on number of shows or scores, I can't remember the exact details). At our big shows that are run by the California show management company, they also added those divisions, which caused alot of confusion. Because they are not official USDF divisions, they are considered restricted classes and do not count for year end awards though.

JRG
Mar. 12, 2010, 08:07 PM
I guess I am kind of an oddity. Last year showing Third, I showed with everyone, AA/Pro whatever, and I looked at it as if I beat any of the pro's it was really worth it. By the way I am in Region 1.

I don't mind showing with the pro's. My concern is not what they are doing but with what I am doing. I actually don't want the split. As I have my eye on fourth this year, I don't want the AA designation, it sort of lessens the feel for me.

There are a lot less people in the classes as you move up the levels too. Riding two tests you don't get a lot if time to make adjustments before you have to turn around and go right back in. LOL, as an ammy I do need that.

ec412
Mar. 12, 2010, 11:03 PM
I am an AA and prefer to ride and compete with my peers who are AA's. I don't really care about the ribbon, it is about the score. I have ridden in classes that had 30 riders or more mixed Open and AA, generally pinned for each division. What is the purpose of not having 2 seperate classes, especially when there are plenty of riders to fill both? There is a reason there is a distinction and If I wanted to ride in the open class, I would sign up for it.

Pony Fixer
Mar. 13, 2010, 12:01 AM
Bronte what your area does makes a lot of sense to me, but as an AA showing 3rd I'd rather not compete against professionals.


I compete in region 1, usually 2nd or 3rd and above the classes are all combined, sometimes split for ribbons. When I competed at 3rd last season it did not bother me in the least that I might be flanked by pros. I say bring it! Besides, I'm competing for the score, not the ribbon (placing)...

poltroon
Mar. 13, 2010, 12:23 AM
Yes, they are quite expensive - especially when you consider that most people (especially pros) just toss them after a show.

I would print your ribbons without a date, and then I would make sure to have a sign at the booth where ribbons are picked up to let people know that you accept ribbons back for recycling if the rider doesn't want to keep them.

Silver~Image~Farm
Mar. 13, 2010, 11:23 AM
I guess I am kind of an oddity. Last year showing Third, I showed with everyone, AA/Pro whatever, and I looked at it as if I beat any of the pro's it was really worth it. By the way I am in Region 1.

I don't mind showing with the pro's. My concern is not what they are doing but with what I am doing. I actually don't want the split. As I have my eye on fourth this year, I don't want the AA designation, it sort of lessens the feel for me.

There are a lot less people in the classes as you move up the levels too. Riding two tests you don't get a lot if time to make adjustments before you have to turn around and go right back in. LOL, as an ammy I do need that.

Hay, good luck!!! And I hear ya!!!.....Good for you for setting your own goals!!!.....Competition here in Region 1 is tough!:cool:

titan
Mar. 13, 2010, 11:35 AM
Our shows split every class into Open, AA, J/Y divisions. They may run together as one group but are placed in their seperate divisions for ribbons & prizes. We also place Champions & Reserves in each division so more ribbons & NICE Champion prizes (halters, coolers, saddle pads, etc). It makes for additonal expense but we believe the competitors appreciate it.

Sonesta
Mar. 13, 2010, 02:28 PM
I would print your ribbons without a date, and then I would make sure to have a sign at the booth where ribbons are picked up to let people know that you accept ribbons back for recycling if the rider doesn't want to keep them.

That is an excellent idea!