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View Full Version : Centerlinescores.com --- beta sys spits out some horrible stats for older trainers



Anewpony
Jul. 13, 2011, 06:33 AM
I just saw this on DressageDaily. This beta system pulls the information directly from the USDF's (and maybe USEF's) various databases to draw a quasi - accurate picture of each individual horse and individual riders career. It seems pretty accurate as long as you have been showing for the last few years...

I like the concept, but I want to point out a few things...

1) If you are an older trainer, and this systems magic number seems to be 19 years on record, that can deal a bad and unjust blow to an older trainers record who actually has the experience and knowledge base, but was seemingly not as accurately reported as this systems database algorithims would like.

2) A real issue with the sport is that with percentages through the levels, in the percentages and numbers at least, the score equals the knowledge of the rider, without taking into consideration the increasing expectation on the pair. This is an age old issue with scoring, but this new venture has an opportunity to differenciate getting an overall score of 62 for nine rides at grand prix is better than someone getting an 80 for nine rides at first.

3) i am a bit concerned that some good people in this sport will get further sidelined with tools like this, as good and needed as they are. This new tool can be just as quickly used for the worse just as fast as it coud be used for the good.

4) Seeing that this guy has access to the databases.... Along with this, you might like to aggregate the individual judges with their scores towards individual horses and individual riders. Seeing as he has all the data, its not even a little bit
inconcevable for him to do it.

I.E. Gary Rockwell has scored X horse this percentage this many times. Rider X has been scored by Gary Rockwell X amount of times.

I can pick a few names who are very good trainers who do not show up well in this mashup of data. Please somehow take into account that there are young upstart professionals that are taking on the very hardest, most talented, but can fly out of the ring types that have wild scores.... Pair with the fact those same professionals are at a point in their careers where they do not have access to the GP horses, or the money that would help them with their careers.

So, after taking a breath, the most old and very young riders will get slammed in this new system unless some safeguards are put in place.

CenterlineScores
Jul. 13, 2011, 08:49 AM
1) If you are an older trainer, and this systems magic number seems to be 19 years on record, that can deal a bad and unjust blow to an older trainers record who actually has the experience and knowledge base, but was seemingly not as accurately reported as this systems database algorithims would like.


Yes. We have data going back approximately 19 yrs or so. However, due to limitations in the USDF data available, as you go back in time, available results are fewer. We display everything we can. One thing to note here is that under no circumstances are we suggesting that a Trainer's show record is the only or even best indicator of their capability. I am concerned that older show records may be skewed by the missing data (what if we happen to be missing data from their best shows or only have data from their bad days?). So we'll look into doing something to be more transparent about that or maybe try to fill in the gaps.



2) A real issue with the sport is that with percentages through the levels, in the percentages and numbers at least, the score equals the knowledge of the rider, without taking into consideration the increasing expectation on the pair. This is an age old issue with scoring, but this new venture has an opportunity to differentiate getting an overall score of 62 for nine rides at Grand Prix is better than someone getting an 80 for nine rides at first.


Not sure that this is a real concern with the information presented in CenterlineScores.com. If you have any experience with Dressage at all, you know that a Grand Prix 62% indicates significantly more experience than an 80% for Training level. In any case, nowhere on the site are different levels mixed or presented as comparable in their value. We've actually begun the preliminary analytical work necessary to try to come up with a combined "experience index" if you will (very hard stuff actually) and our first cut seems to show that the Grand Prix is roughly 42x harder than Training level. Again, the problem may be too difficult to solve in a useful way, but it only lends credence to the current policy of making sure that we don't present or imply that scores/averages/medians from different levels are comparable.




3) i am a bit concerned that some good people in this sport will get further sidelined with tools like this, as good and needed as they are. This new tool can be just as quickly used for the worse just as fast as it could be used for the good.


How so? We're not doing anything more than presenting the same show/score results that have always been publicly available in a more meaningful and useful way.



4) Seeing that this guy has access to the databases.... Along with this, you might like to aggregate the individual judges with their scores towards individual horses and individual riders. Seeing as he has all the data, its not even a little bit
inconceivable for him to do it.

i.e. Gary Rockwell has scored X horse this percentage this many times. Rider X has been scored by Gary Rockwell X amount of times.


As mentioned in the Frequently Asked Questions on the site: "...because we feel rather strongly that (historically) analysis [and discussion] of judging data has been skewed and in many cases very misleading, we want to be very careful that the data we present isn’t misused or misappropriated or twisted to say something that isn’t supported by the facts."




I can pick a few names who are very good trainers who do not show up well in this mashup of data. Please somehow take into account that there are young upstart professionals that are taking on the very hardest, most talented, but can fly out of the ring types that have wild scores.... Pair with the fact those same professionals are at a point in their careers where they do not have access to the GP horses, or the money that would help them with their careers.

So, after taking a breath, the most old and very young riders will get slammed in this new system unless some safeguards are put in place.

CenterlineScores.com is in no way implying that scores and showing records are the only or even best criteria for evaluating a potential trainer. In fact, some of the absolute best trainers we know or have worked with or seen in action are self-admittedly average show riders. To be a great Dressage trainer takes more than the ability to ride down the centerline successfully. It takes a talent for teaching, for communicating (either with the horse or with the student), it takes a solid theoretical understanding of the sport and a thousand other things that can't be quantified in a score or any other number. HOWEVER, if a trainer/instructor makes a claim about their record that isn't backed up by the results, then you can and should explore that further. If a seller makes a claim about a horse's show-ring record, you should be able to check that out. That's all that CenterlineScores.com is about, presenting the same show results that have always been publicly available in a format that is both usable and useful.

Jay Stevens
www.centerlinescores.com

ToN Farm
Jul. 13, 2011, 09:48 AM
1) If you are an older trainer, and this systems magic number seems to be 19 years on record, that can deal a bad and unjust blow to an older trainers record who actually has the experience and knowledge base, but was seemingly not as accurately reported as this systems database algorithims would like.
From what I have seen, USDF/USEF data base for on-line scoring doesn't go back any farther than Centerline does. However, a USDF member has to PAY $20 for results older than one year. I LOVE this centerline system! Now, maybe people will think twice before they falsly embellish their show records. If someone was really successful in the show ring >20 years ago, I think it could be substantiated.

2) A real issue with the sport is that with percentages through the levels, in the percentages and numbers at least, the score equals the knowledge of the rider, without taking into consideration the increasing expectation on the pair. This is an age old issue with scoring, but this new venture has an opportunity to differenciate getting an overall score of 62 for nine rides at grand prix is better than someone getting an 80 for nine rides at first. I am stunned that there would be someone that would think that Satisfactory scores at FEI don't carry more weight than multiple high scores at lower levels. Anyone that shows knows that usually the scores go down as the levels go up. More difficult and more movements make for lower scores. 70's a TL/First are not difficult. At FEI, it takes a very special pair.

3) i am a bit concerned that some good people in this sport will get further sidelined with tools like this, as good and needed as they are. This new tool can be just as quickly used for the worse just as fast as it coud be used for the good.Disagree. People that care have been checking out the records of trainers and horses for years. Google brings up a lot of information, and as has been said above, the info is available at USDF/USEF for those that care to check.

4) Seeing that this guy has access to the databases.... Along with this, you might like to aggregate the individual judges with their scores towards individual horses and individual riders. Seeing as he has all the data, its not even a little bit
inconcevable for him to do it.

I.E. Gary Rockwell has scored X horse this percentage this many times. Rider X has been scored by Gary Rockwell X amount of times. I would find that very interesting as well, but I can understand why Centerline might not want to do that. What I'd really like to see, is not how a judge marks individual horses, but how the judges compare in their scoring in general; i.e. the Santa judges compared to the stingy judges.

I can pick a few names who are very good trainers who do not show up well in this mashup of data. Maybe you are one of them, eh? Maybe what you consider a good trainer, someone else wouldn't. There are lots of worshipped trainers that are zeros. Sadly, their following just don't know what they don't know.
Please somehow take into account that there are young upstart professionals that are taking on the very hardest, most talented, but can fly out of the ring types that have wild scores.... Pair with the fact those same professionals are at a point in their careers where they do not have access to the GP horses, or the money that would help them with their careers.
This is not just true for professionals. The horse has much to do with what score one gets. No matter how well one rides (AA or Pro), you are limited by your horse's talent.Anewpony, why did you have to post under an alter for this?

Flag Day
Jul. 13, 2011, 10:01 AM
This is a great website! I think it is a great resource for all riders.

SGray
Jul. 13, 2011, 10:54 AM
I'd like to see a large disclaimer stating the scores go back X # of years

i.e. Carol Lavell is listed with 2 horses (presumably Much Ado and Gifted) yet she won numerous HOY awards (and Team Silver at 1987 Pan Am Games) with In The Black and she has other HOYs to her credit with others (sorry, memory fails me at the moment)

ShotenStar
Jul. 13, 2011, 10:58 AM
beta sys spits out some horrible stats for older trainers

The numbers are the numbers. There is nothing 'horrible' about them. 'Horrible' is in the eye of the behold, so the burden is on the beholder to remember that the scoring system has changed over time, the tests have changed over time, the horses and the riders have changed over time. I actually find it quite interesting to see how the numbers shift over the years, through the levels .... but I'm a data nerd, so my view of the world is a little .... special.

*star*

Velvet
Jul. 13, 2011, 10:59 AM
I can pick a few names who are very good trainers who do not show up well in this mashup of data. Maybe you are one of them, eh? Maybe what you consider a good trainer, someone else wouldn't. There are lots of worshipped trainers that are zeros. Sadly, their following just don't know what they don't know.


Um, Ton, I really think your logic on this is flawed. Throwing all of the trainers with show nerves out of the mix up? Ones who might be able to teach, but can't ride for their nerves? (Extreme case would be Robert Dover who usually survived with decent scores by virtue of the halo effect. Some of his rides were horrific and deserved much lower scores, and all due to nerves. It was as if he were being judged the way they do in ice skating and it's because the judges KNOW what he COULD do rather than what he was always able to do when in front of them.)

In Europe, there are MANY top trainers for Olympic riders and teams who are wonderful teachers and trainers, but not so good in the ring.

I think this system is crazy for that reason, as well as the fact that some people are great trainers but lousy instructors. And some people short cut things to get horses to the top and the horse survives only a little while and then flames out from injury or mental breakdown. Do those pushed horse's scores make them great trainers and instructors? What about some awesome people I've met over the years who are wonderful riders, but just never have THAT horse. I've met quite a few of those who have many horses with limitations because that's all they can afford. They get decent scores and perform consistantly, but this is by no means a measure of the entire picture.

I find that research around who the person has trained, and how many have reached the upper levels and done well, much more important than their personal show record. I've known a ton of great riders I would send a horse to, but I would NEVER take lessons with them because they were naturals and couldn't teach their way out of a wet paper bag. Teachers have to also be great communicators. Often the two (great teacher and great trainer) never meet.

I think this is horrible for the sport as a whole. I think we can gain enough information on our own by going out and looking on the USDF site (which is still VERY limited with show results for those who have been around a long time, as has been pointed out) or by going out and watching the person in question teach AND train.

Velvet
Jul. 13, 2011, 11:01 AM
BTW, I also wonder why in the world were doing so much to help advertise this obviously flawed site. :no: Worthless....absolutely worthless. At least to those who want a really good trainer/instructor and not just want to ride with someone who buys an upper level horse to get their medals.

atlatl
Jul. 13, 2011, 11:03 AM
"Data" is just that; data. Only with context and understanding can "data" move up into the realm of information.

With any database, anyone can interpret the data however they like and draw their own conclusions.

Data => Information => Knowledge => Wisdom

meupatdoes
Jul. 13, 2011, 11:18 AM
BTW, I also wonder why in the world were doing so much to help advertise this obviously flawed site. :no: Worthless....absolutely worthless. At least to those who want a really good trainer/instructor and not just want to ride with someone who buys an upper level horse to get their medals.

It isn't worthless; it is just an additional (not 'the only') source of information which unfortunately for many will require the rubbing together of one or two brain cells to interpret and place in a larger context.

You want the information to NOT be available AT ALL because some people are too dumb to recognize that competition scores are only a part of a particular trainer's resume?

Please let's not arrange the ENTIRE world around the lowest common denominator.

Cupcake
Jul. 13, 2011, 11:37 AM
I think it's great. It will be a great resource for people who are thinking about buying a horse. Using this site they can check that the horse's performance actually matches what the seller claims (we know that sellers can stretch the truth from time to time).

Also, I think that a person who is of average intellect will be able to figure out that being a great instructor doesn't always equate with being a great rider. But honestly, how often does one run across someone who advertises themselves as an FEI trainer, and they haven't ridden a single FEI test in a recognized show. I have run across at least one of those.

I believe that this will keep people a little bit more honest, which is always a good thing

Velvet
Jul. 13, 2011, 11:45 AM
I think it's great. It will be a great resource for people who are thinking about buying a horse. Using this site they can check that the horse's performance actually matches what the seller claims (we know that sellers can stretch the truth from time to time).

True, but you can get this from the USDF and USEF on your own.


But honestly, how often does one run across someone who advertises themselves as an FEI trainer, and they haven't ridden a single FEI test in a recognized show. I have run across at least one of those.


I've met a few who shown in Europe only. Will they show up in this database? Nope.

Then, I also now someone who trained a lot of FEI level horses and sold them, so if they advertise that they train and can teach the FEI levels, then they're still truthful. If they say they've SHOWN them successfully, they're lying. I think there's a lot of things missing from this database and it will mislead a lot of people.

Like I said, you can have someone who can ride but not teach. You can have people buy really great horses and get scores that are impressive in smaller areas and people will think they can train horses to the FEI levels based solely on scores.

It's incomplete and not really of much value to the majority of people out there.

meupatdoes
Jul. 13, 2011, 11:49 AM
It's incomplete and not really of much value to the majority of people out there.

Well the people who feel this way don't have to go click on the site, then, do they?

Just because some people don't value the additional info does not mean the whole website should not exist.

I mean, I don't give a rat's patootie about yachting statistics and they are certainly not really of much value to the majority of people in the world but this does not mean I am criticizing whatever yachting statistics sites there are for even EXISTING. If other people want to go look up who came 7th in the America's Cup in 1979 they can go ahead. If it floats someone else's boat to design a site to cater to those folks great for them. Probably if I were looking for a good captain for my new racing yacht I would look at more than one website but that is just me. Probably there is also at least one millionaire out there who does a sloppy, lazy, or otherwise non-duly diligent job of researching his prospective yacht captains. Perish the thought.

This is not hard.
The site is what it is.
Go look at it or don't.
Draw whatever conclusions you wish to draw.

But prescribing what you think ELSE's use or non-use of the website should be is really not necessary.

DutchDressageQueen
Jul. 13, 2011, 02:22 PM
You want the information to NOT be available AT ALL because some people are too dumb to recognize that competition scores are only a part of a particular trainer's resume?

Please let's not arrange the ENTIRE world around the lowest common denominator.

:)

SBrentnall
Jul. 14, 2011, 01:36 PM
True, but you can get this from the USDF and USEF on your own.

Only for the current competition year, unless you want to pay $20. Personally, when I'm looking up horses to possibly buy, I can't afford to pay $20 per horse to get their complete show record.

suzy
Jul. 14, 2011, 01:53 PM
I don't see the site as being a bad thing. I like the idea of having somewhere other than USDF to check my scores. Not only is the USDF site difficult to navigate (IMO), but you can only see results from the current year. As another poster said, this site is also useful for horse shoppers who want to check a horse's record.

If people use this data to choose a trainer, that is their bad and they deserve what they get. There are some superb trainers/instructors who don't perform well in a competition environment, so the scores *might* be detrimental to their business. However, I doubt it. If they are producing horses that are pleasant to ride and their students are competitive, I think that says more about the person's ability than a database.

suzy
Jul. 14, 2011, 02:00 PM
It's incomplete and not really of much value to the majority of people out there.

I am not terribly concerned that it's incomplete. However, your comment may be useful to the creator of the site. He/she could post something on the home page that addresses the limitations of the site and urges people to be judicious in how they interpret the data. Not sure they can do anything beyond that.

In time, this site might include results from European competitions to give a more complete picture of a rider's competition history.

Anyway, a lot of work has gone into the site, and I think the creators of it can benefit by reading people's concerns.

netg
Jul. 14, 2011, 02:23 PM
This site keeps crashing on IE 8. An fyi since the site programmer has been on this thread.



It was interesting for me to use and see that the impression I've had of a trainer I've seen at some shows is quite accurate. If I hadn't seen this trainer around enough, it would have been very valuable for me in choosing not to ride with her...

Jeito
Jul. 14, 2011, 02:50 PM
I thought I'd commented about this already but my comment and the entire thread have disappeared :confused: I realize it has mistakes and needs tweaking, but I think it's an excellent idea. What I saw for the handful or riders I checked seems "in the ballpark." As I suspected, some "trainers" exaggerate their achievements (speaking euphemistcally :lol:). I was surprised that a couple of modest riders I know have done better than they let on.

atr
Jul. 14, 2011, 04:33 PM
Don't use it like I did...

I'm showing this weekend and have successfully psyched myself out by looking up the other competitors' previous scores :)

I should know better!

MysticOakRanch
Jul. 14, 2011, 05:02 PM
I think it is kind of a cool site - although I found at least one score error in my record too (a really low, older score), which tells me it isn't 100% correct. But, all in all, it is useful, and allows people to check on a trainer's claims (I can think of one trainer who claims to be an FEI rider and Gold Medal rider and she shows up on this site with Training Level only scores, which doesn't surprise me). People have to take it for what it is - one source of data - not an all-reaching, all-telling source, but ONE source. Will it remain free of charge? Right now, it replaces the old USDF searches that now cost $20/horse (wonder what USDF thinks of that:lol:).

I don't think it "picks" on older riders - I think people just need to be informed that the data is only X years old.

If someone uses this site to make decisions absent of any other data, well, they get what they deserve:lol:

For people who are horse shopping, it could be quite useful - USDF only makes the current year scores accessible, and USEF is spotty with its data, so this could be quite useful information for shoppers.

Yesterday, I couldn't get into any of the tabs (I'm on IE), but today, so far, all is working. Again - my big question - will it remain free?

Velvet
Jul. 14, 2011, 05:13 PM
Does the USDF database only track information (and have it accessible on their site, rather than archived and unavailable) for people who are active/paying members?

atr
Jul. 14, 2011, 06:05 PM
You have to cough up bucks to do a score check outside the current year, Velvet.

SGray
Jul. 14, 2011, 06:25 PM
so you can get a good idea on the new site and if you want OFFICIAL USDF data then you can pay them for what you need

honeydoozy
Jul. 15, 2011, 01:07 AM
I'm finding this site particularly useful as I shop for a horse, but I'm not sure I would rely on the information as the end-all-be-all assessment of any horse/rider/trainer. As an administrator of a GMO website that tracks scores for our members, I know, all too well, that the information we can report is only as good as what is submitted by the *show manager*. If something is wrong or missing on this site, odds are pretty darn good that USEF/USDF/local GMOs have it wrong too.

If nothing else, it's a good way to check and make sure your stuff is being reported correctly.

ShotenStar
Jul. 15, 2011, 08:39 AM
SGray and honeydoozy have hit the nail on the head: this site is Just Another Way to view the publicly available / USDF maintained data. Data visualization is one of my hobbies; you can learn / see new things in data if you are willing to look at it in different ways. If this site helps people see errors in the records, all of us will be better off for the corrections that are made.

*star*

Liz
Jul. 15, 2011, 12:23 PM
It costs money to do a score check with USDF. I, for one, appreciate having the data so readily available. I did have some omissions on my stats but, to give credit where credit is due, when I emailed a link with my scores they had the omissions corrected the same day.

Maude
Jul. 15, 2011, 01:25 PM
I think the site is great. I hadn't realized how few recognized competitions I have done over the years ($$$) until I looked myself up. My Training level scores were inaccurate, but that was 19 years ago. That said, I am currently working with 2 different trainers. One has no show record, but is a wonderful young horse to Grand Prix instructor and I've learned tons from him in only a few lessons. The other instructor has shown to 3rd level but trained horses to the FEI level. He just isn't into showing, but is one of the best, most intuitive horsemen I know. I agree that while Centerlinescores can be a useful tool, you certainly can't judge a person's (or horse's) skill level by the results. If I were horse shopping though, this website would be very useful to verify that the competition information I'd been given on the horse was correct.