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ConcernedAlter1
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:32 PM
At a show this past weekend and was walking on foot near a warm up ring. A friend (an amateur who rides with a different trainer) was on her horse in the warmup ring waiting for trainer. Friend (or show acquaintance, more like) was on a jumper. One strap on horse's boot was coming undone and she asked me to stop and fix it. I did, and was about to take horse's entire boot off to reposition before fixing strap when she goes "NO! Don't take it off! There are plastic chips in there! Just fix the strap!". Clearly, this is not allowed. She whispered it to me and then laughed, and was clearly not expecting me to have a problem with it. I was pretty floored. Had never thought this woman a cheater before.
Personally, I was disgusted and my opinion of this woman and her trainer fell exponentially. I did not know what to do though. Is it my place to get involved and say something to the steward? Have been in a similar situation to this last year- someone I know confessed at the ingate that her A/A hunter secretly had a studded noseband on. Both times this happened at an A rated show, but not a huge one like Devon, Wellington Indoors etc. Also not in the huge divisions- the boots on a Low AO jumper and the noseband on an A/A hunter. This cheating disgusts me, but these are also friends of mine. Is it my place to get involved? Is this kind of cheating commonplace and I just never knew about it? I would NEVER do this to my horses and am a little revolted.
So, COTH, in these situations or similar ones- what would you do? What is the responsibility of the third party who finds out about it?
Thought this would be an interesting discussion (is it really so prevalent?), and I'd appreciate the advice. TIA

Jaegermonster
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:43 PM
I would have reported it to the stewards immediately.

ANd yes it is "your place". If not yours, then whose? We all have a responsibility to the animals we ride, and this kind of crap happens because people don't speak up.

Rel6
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:49 PM
Both times this happened at an A rated show, but not a huge one like Devon, Wellington Indoors etc. Also not in the huge divisions- the boots on a Low AO jumper and the noseband on an A/A hunter.

Stop trying to justify it and report it. The division and rating doesn't matter. These "friends" clearly have questionable ethics and you could be the one who had helped their horse.

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:50 PM
This is going to sound really harsh, but hopefully, you will read it and consider it seriously:

You basically just perpetuated animal abuse. Of COURSE it is your responsibility to go to the steward. By not doing so, you've just made it possible for this rider and her "trainer" to continue abusing this poor horse. That's really all there is to it.

ETA- Tack nosebands are not illegal.

Highflyer
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:52 PM
Yes, you should have reported the boots. I'm not sure the noseband is illegal, though.

Wanderluster
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:57 PM
The noseband is common among exhibitors and is not subject to examinination by judges as it could be under AQHA rules.
The rule applies to what a judge can "see" as unconventional. That is why bridles are not dropped to inspect bits and nosebands at the back gate . Different disciplines have different rules , it is up to the exhibitor to learn and abide by them.

Platinum Equestrian
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:04 PM
I would have reported it to the stewards immediately.

ANd yes it is "your place". If not yours, then whose? We all have a responsibility to the animals we ride, and this kind of crap happens because people don't speak up.

Bravo... I agree 100%, if no one says anything, who speaks for the horses... who cannot speak for themselves?

fordtraktor
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:07 PM
Did you see the chips? Could she have been joking, a joke that certainly fell flat but nonetheless meant as a joke? Maybe she was in a hurry and didn't want to take the time for you to take the boot off, and was trying to make a bad joke about the McLain Ward scandal from a few years back.

I would have take the boot off just to see, honestly! But I don't have much patience for cheaters and you need proof to take it to a steward. Easier to prove if you have chip in hand. I'd be leading the horse to the steward with the other boot still on if I found a chip, if no chip I'd play dumb and say the boot was too crooked, and think she just had a bad sense of humor.

Lord Helpus
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:12 PM
There is a similar thread over on the eventing forum. But there it was a competitor who was entered in a division she was overqualified for.

Consensus there was that the rules were made to create an equal playing field and it was the responsibility of each person who knew of clear, provable violations to bring it to the proper authorities, hopefully before the problem became a cause for elimination.

Had it been me, I would have looked the girl square in the eye (thinking, "you stupid twat -- don't you know what you just said? I'm nominating you for the Darwin Awards immediately.") and say (out loud), "You DO realize that it is highly illegal to have foreign substances in your horse's boots, right? I guess you do since you told me not to take them off. You also should realize that, if you walk into the ring with those boots on, I will have no choice but to talk to the Steward and you will be eliminated and written up and fined, and so will your trainer."

"Now, it's your choice which you will do."

THAT SAID, since you did not stop the infraction before it occurred, there is no point in saying anything to a steward now. But I would try to find a way to let the girl know that you have been in a moral quandry about how to handle the situation.

She needs to keep looking behind her, worrying when a steward will show up.

God, I hate cheaters!

3 is the limit
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:25 PM
Not to be dumb, but does a plastic chip do?

ConcernedAlter1
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:31 PM
Stop trying to justify it and report it. The division and rating doesn't matter. These "friends" clearly have questionable ethics and you could be the one who had helped their horse.

Pardon me, I should have been clearer. I clarified what type of show it was to make sure that everyone was aware that it was a USEF rated show (where there would have been a steward), and not a schooling show or such where there would have been less regulation. Was not trying to justify it by saying "oh, it's not Wellington so it's OK". Simply trying to explain that it was not a backyard event where USEF rules did not apply and there was no one to enforce them. I am sorry, I should have been clearer in my original post.

alspharmd
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:32 PM
Not to be dumb, but does a plastic chip do?

Yep, I have the same question. I think I can figure out the reason behind the studded noseband, but can't figure out the chips.

Rel6
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:38 PM
Yep, I have the same question. I think I can figure out the reason behind the studded noseband, but can't figure out the chips.

I think the idea is that if the rubs a rail it digs into their legs...and makes them jump cleaner for fear of that pain.

ConcernedAlter1
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:38 PM
Thanks COTH for the response. I am glad to see that my gut is right. I appreciate all of you who have jumped to the defense of the horse- that is very happy to see. I was under the impression that the studded noseband is illegal. Is that wrong? The noseband I saw last year and did not report it. I regret that very much.
I saw the boots with chips on Sunday at the show towards the end of the day. I did not know where the steward was, but I left a complaint form for the steward in the horse show office. I do not know what came of it, as I did not see the steward. I hope that she took the appropriate actions. I will be sad if this loses me my friend- but on second thought, maybe it does not make me that sad, because if she is the kind of person OK with doing that to her horse, I do not value her company so much.
To the person who suggested that maybe she had been joking, I do not think so. The tone was very serious, and she invited me to poke my finger in to feel.

supershorty628
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:39 PM
Tack and chain nosebands are unconventional, but not illegal.

Big_Grey_hunter
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:41 PM
Yep, I have the same question. I think I can figure out the reason behind the studded noseband, but can't figure out the chips.

If the horse hits a jump, the chips inside the boot are pressed into the leg. The pain makes the horse NOT want to hit jumps. Imagine putting glass/plastic chips in your shoe and taking a step.

Rel6
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:42 PM
Had it been me, I would have looked the girl square in the eye (thinking, "you stupid twat -- don't you know what you just said? I'm nominating you for the Darwin Awards immediately.") and say (out loud), "You DO realize that it is highly illegal to have foreign substances in your horse's boots, right? I guess you do since you told me not to take them off. You also should realize that, if you walk into the ring with those boots on, I will have no choice but to talk to the Steward and you will be eliminated and written up and fined, and so will your trainer."

"Now, it's your choice which you will do."




Honestly I was originally going to say that I would have said something to her and not the steward. But then even if she doesn't do it for that particular show, she will do it again. I saw go to the steward who might be able to inflict some sort of penalty or punishment.


Pardon me, I should have been clearer. I clarified what type of show it was to make sure that everyone was aware that it was a USEF rated show (where there would have been a steward), and not a schooling show or such where there would have been less regulation. Was not trying to justify it by saying "oh, it's not Wellington so it's OK". Simply trying to explain that it was not a backyard event where USEF rules did not apply and there was no one to enforce them. I am sorry, I should have been clearer in my original post.

I understand, and maybe "justify" was the wrong word choice. But you also did make a point to say that it was not a huge show or a huge division. I don't think that you condoned it by any means, but it did seem in your wording that the fact that it was not a higher level of competition was significant. No harm done, I just took a different way than intended.

OverandOnward
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:57 PM
One curious thing -- assuming she was telling the truth, what is she trying to do to herself to tell you? It doesn't sound as if she knew you well, she had no idea what you might do with that info.

I can appreciate how on the spot you must have felt, not expecting that. The first thing I would have done was look her square in the eye and say in a serious tone "I wish you hadn't told me that." No humor at all. It might impress on her that breaking the rules matters, and she should not have assumed I would keep such a secret. And it would give me a few seconds to think how to get a steward over right away, before any chips vanished.

Of course this person will know who ratted her out, but who cares what a cheater thinks of you. It's she who needs to be worried what others will think of her, not you worried what they will think of you. She finked on herself, anyway. :)

If you did not report her this time, is it possible to informally give stewards at the next show a heads-up to be on the look-out? I know it's awkward - but it's about the horse, not the cheating rider.

Late
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:07 AM
If you did not report her this time, is it possible to informally give stewards at the next show a heads-up to be on the look-out? I know it's awkward - but it's about the horse, not the cheating rider.

That's what I was thinking... maybe someone can do a "surprise check" on her at the next show? I have no idea if a steward would do that on a tip from someone.

It's a shame one would even have to think about it, but maybe there should be random boot checks after jumper rounds throughout shows - kind of like bit checks at dressage shows. Not sure if that's something that has been suggested in the past, or if this is even a prevalent enough issue to warrant it though...

Go Fish
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:46 AM
Had it been me, I would have looked the girl square in the eye (thinking, "you stupid twat -- don't you know what you just said? I'm nominating you for the Darwin Awards immediately.") and say (out loud), "You DO realize that it is highly illegal to have foreign substances in your horse's boots, right? I guess you do since you told me not to take them off. You also should realize that, if you walk into the ring with those boots on, I will have no choice but to talk to the Steward and you will be eliminated and written up and fined, and so will your trainer."

"Now, it's your choice which you will do."



Exactly what I would have done, but I would have said the "stupid twat" part out loud.

GrayCatFarm
Apr. 13, 2011, 06:58 AM
May I ask a related question? Last year at a rated show I stood next to a trainer who was doing a running monologue about the course. I looked around expecting to see a cluster of students. Nope. Just him talking through the course. My eye drifts to the ring, and sure enough there is a rider in the ring doing the course. Pretty sure I know what was going on. My question is this: I would be prepared to file a complaint AND put my money down, but ONLY if I knew that my identity would not be revealed to the accused. I'll be showing solo this year, sans trainer or "crew" and I would be concerned about the safety of my horse. I can/will check with the USEF before I attend the next show, but would be curious about your experiences with actually filing a complaint. TIA.

findeight
Apr. 13, 2011, 07:12 AM
... maybe someone can do a "surprise check" on her at the next show? I have no idea if a steward would do that on a tip from someone...


Stewards change from show to show...the one officiating at this one may not be officiating at the next...and there is a possibility it was a bad joke. At best it would be would be a this person said that that person said there there were chips last week.

If you had actually seen the chips, you could write to the USEF but right now??? Nothing you can do. Next time go to the steward immediately so they can simply check as they have the right to do to any exhibitor.

Napoles
Apr. 13, 2011, 07:21 AM
May I ask a related question? Last year at a rated show I stood next to a trainer who was doing a running monologue about the course. I looked around expecting to see a cluster of students. Nope. Just him talking through the course. My eye drifts to the ring, and sure enough there is a rider in the ring doing the course. Pretty sure I know what was going on. My question is this: I would be prepared to file a complaint AND put my money down, but ONLY if I knew that my identity would not be revealed to the accused. I'll be showing solo this year, sans trainer or "crew" and I would be concerned about the safety of my horse. I can/will check with the USEF before I attend the next show, but would be curious about your experiences with actually filing a complaint. TIA.

I know nothing about the American shows, but I am a bit confused as to what the problem was? :confused: Do you mean that the trainer was speaking aloud, so his pupil could hear him while competing and thus getting outside assistance?

SidesaddleRider
Apr. 13, 2011, 07:24 AM
I know nothing about the American shows, but I am a bit confused as to what the problem was? :confused: Do you mean that the trainer was speaking aloud, so his pupil could hear him while competing and thus getting outside assistance?

No, she is implying that the rider and trainer were communicating with each by some type of device (ear bud or similar), so that the rider could be coached around the course by the trainer as she was doing it. Communication devices are illegal in the show ring.

mvp
Apr. 13, 2011, 07:52 AM
Thanks COTH for the response. I am glad to see that my gut is right. I appreciate all of you who have jumped to the defense of the horse- that is very happy to see. I was under the impression that the studded noseband is illegal. Is that wrong? The noseband I saw last year and did not report it. I regret that very much.
I saw the boots with chips on Sunday at the show towards the end of the day. I did not know where the steward was, but I left a complaint form for the steward in the horse show office. I do not know what came of it, as I did not see the steward. I hope that she took the appropriate actions. I will be sad if this loses me my friend- but on second thought, maybe it does not make me that sad, because if she is the kind of person OK with doing that to her horse, I do not value her company so much.
To the person who suggested that maybe she had been joking, I do not think so. The tone was very serious, and she invited me to poke my finger in to feel.

Your answer is in bold. If feel you made a mistake the first time you didn't speak up about cheating (and it wasn't in that case), then you have only yourself to blame if you are quiet a second time.

I do think its best to give the cheater a clue that you know (or suspect) they are breaking a rule. In the noseband case, it would have given you the opportunity to learn about that rule. In the chips-in-boots case it would have let you see if the rider was making a bad joke.

Here, I guess I wouldn't have said "I wish you hadn't told me that" looking deadpan serious. To me, that implies that a cheater should simply have the sense to cheat better. You are giving her a conspiratorial piece of advice.

Perhaps a serious/stunned "Really !?!" If she says yes, it seems to me that the right thing to to is step back and say "Sorry, I can't help you with that" and walk away-- boot undone and the rider wondering what you would do next.


May I ask a related question? Last year at a rated show I stood next to a trainer who was doing a running monologue about the course. I looked around expecting to see a cluster of students. Nope. Just him talking through the course. My eye drifts to the ring, and sure enough there is a rider in the ring doing the course. Pretty sure I know what was going on. My question is this: I would be prepared to file a complaint AND put my money down, but ONLY if I knew that my identity would not be revealed to the accused. I'll be showing solo this year, sans trainer or "crew" and I would be concerned about the safety of my horse. I can/will check with the USEF before I attend the next show, but would be curious about your experiences with actually filing a complaint. TIA.

Do you think this fear for your horse's well being is founded? Has USEF showing come to the point that competitors sabotage the animals of those who file protests? I don't know but I haven't seen anything in my showing that suggests this kind of "hard ball" retaliation.

The day that does happen often and is known, we are in deep, deep trouble. No one can then afford to report any infraction, no matter how serious.

fordtraktor
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:01 AM
If people keep doing this crap we will end up like the TWH, with a steward checking boots and legs for soring before we go in the ring. Is that what people like this want?

Shameful.

AnotherRound
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:20 AM
Wow, am I stunned with the quandries and concerns and worries about reporting cheating.

Your "friends"? First of all, who has friends who cheats and uholds this kind of abusive training and still calls them friends?

Qualifying what level shows may or may not concern you?

Look, if you were a swimmer and in order to win a race swimmers have to touch both ends of the pools with their bodies, and you saw the swimmer who won do a flip turn in the lane next to you and never touch that end of the pool, and you were second, would you just say nothing? Really.

This is also abusive to the horses.

I have to say, anyone, people at all who turn a blind eye to cheating in any manner in the sport, whether its illegal equipment, a pro riding ammy, behind the scenes abuse to animals, anyone who has trouble reporting a violation of the sport's rules or a violation of the ethics of society and fair competition, isn't someone I would want as a friend, never mind calling trainers and riders who practice those things friends.

I have to say what I have read on this thread upsets me.

Napoles
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:47 AM
No, she is implying that the rider and trainer were communicating with each by some type of device (ear bud or similar), so that the rider could be coached around the course by the trainer as she was doing it. Communication devices are illegal in the show ring.

Ah ok, that did occur to me afterwards. God, how sad that someone would need to be coached over every fence. :no:

AnotherRound
Apr. 13, 2011, 09:07 AM
Ah ok, that did occur to me afterwards. God, how sad that someone would need to be coached over every fence. :no:

Heh, that's funny - I read the "how sad" you wrote, and thought you would say "how sad that someone would cheat like that and think it was ok" but you're right - it really is sad that someone actually needs to be coached over every fence!

Kryswyn
Apr. 13, 2011, 10:07 AM
One curious thing -- assuming she was telling the truth, what is she trying to do to herself to tell you? It doesn't sound as if she knew you well, she had no idea what you might do with that info.



People who cheat (at anything) always believe that everyone else cheats too. It's often said a person never suspects anything of another person that they wouldn't do themselves, and the reverse is also true: they also believe others are likely to do what they themselves would do (like cheat in competitions or on their spouses).

You are known by the company you keep. So be careful how you choose your friends. Acquaintances are just that and you can be excused for not knowing them well.

LetsChat
Apr. 13, 2011, 10:33 AM
At a show this past weekend and was walking on foot near a warm up ring. A friend (an amateur who rides with a different trainer) was on her horse in the warmup ring waiting for trainer. Friend (or show acquaintance, more like) was on a jumper. One strap on horse's boot was coming undone and she asked me to stop and fix it. I did, and was about to take horse's entire boot off to reposition before fixing strap when she goes "NO! Don't take it off! There are plastic chips in there! Just fix the strap!". Clearly, this is not allowed. She whispered it to me and then laughed, and was clearly not expecting me to have a problem with it. I was pretty floored. Had never thought this woman a cheater before.
Personally, I was disgusted and my opinion of this woman and her trainer fell exponentially. I did not know what to do though. Is it my place to get involved and say something to the steward? Have been in a similar situation to this last year- someone I know confessed at the ingate that her A/A hunter secretly had a studded noseband on. Both times this happened at an A rated show, but not a huge one like Devon, Wellington Indoors etc. Also not in the huge divisions- the boots on a Low AO jumper and the noseband on an A/A hunter. This cheating disgusts me, but these are also friends of mine. Is it my place to get involved? Is this kind of cheating commonplace and I just never knew about it? I would NEVER do this to my horses and am a little revolted.
So, COTH, in these situations or similar ones- what would you do? What is the responsibility of the third party who finds out about it?
Thought this would be an interesting discussion (is it really so prevalent?), and I'd appreciate the advice. TIA

Tack (studded) nosebands are not illegal....

gottagrey
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:05 PM
Ah ok, that did occur to me afterwards. God, how sad that someone would need to be coached over every fence. :no:

There are exceptions to the communications rule - if a person has some sort of handicapped and requires electronic assistance they are excepted from the rule. They have to provide justification in writing prior to start of class. So this might have been the case... but quite frankly I've seen plenty of trainers who just yell while running up and down the side of the ring which IMO is more offensive.

I don't know that the OP could really do anything since she didn't remove the boots and there is no way of telling if her friend was joking or telling the truth. Depending on the show - don't /arent' they required to have a schooling ring steward for jumpers? If so OP could have mentioned something to the schooling steward. Otherwise I think I might have asked if they needed assistance poling or some other obvious rule violation in the hopes they'd realize they were lowdown cheaters.

Pennywell Bay
Apr. 13, 2011, 03:52 PM
Exactly what I would have done, but I would have said the "stupid twat" part out loud.

THAT made my day.