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Aussie08
Jan. 6, 2012, 06:03 PM
For all those interested, they have posted some new info for FEH program on the front page of the USEA Website as well as a new contact person for the program.

lecoeurtriste
Jan. 6, 2012, 08:46 PM
Just for clarification, our dates on the USEA website are incorrect.

The Ark will hold their 6th year of FEH/NEH/YEH classes on Sunday, April 1 and Sunday, August 12. Our Spring USEA/USEF HT is March 31 and an NCDCTA D/CT event on August 11 instead.

Thanks!

JER
Jan. 6, 2012, 09:03 PM
From the USEA page:


Changes have also been made to the judging guidelines including putting emphasis that the first impression should be of an event horse ‘type’ meaning a horse that appears naturally structured to become an all-around athlete.

Makes you wonder what they were emphasizing in past years in the Future Event Horse classes. But this is good emphasis.


The USEA is also encouraging owners to submit a copy of their horses’ pedigrees when they are registered so the USEA can start to gather the information needed to create a searchable database in the future.

Good. This is a very necessary step if this program is ever going to achieve its goals.

:)

SuZQuzie
Jan. 7, 2012, 01:42 AM
Wonder what "type" they will consider good event horse type...

Wits End Eventing
Jan. 7, 2012, 08:14 AM
We have mixed feelings about requiring a certain score to go to the championships.
1. turn out has not been huge without a qualifying score, so I wonder if this will really hit attendance.
2. the judging is so erratic that, last year, our mare who won the 3 year old filly class at the championship would not have qualified but our Haflinger x German sport pony cross would have.... And our mare was judged by the same judge both times.....

Frankly, we were really excited about going to the FEH open forum at the USEA conference this fall, but we had such a negative experience interacting with one of the committee members after presenting the data we gathered about characteristics of horses winning at the CCI***** level there, that it really turned us off the program, and we are not making the championships a priority this year. We were not turned off breeding which we LOVE, but we were turned off our previously enthusiastic participation in the FEH.

lecoeurtriste
Jan. 7, 2012, 07:08 PM
Frankly, we were really excited about going to the FEH open forum at the USEA conference this fall, but we had such a negative experience interacting with one of the committee members after presenting the data we gathered about characteristics of horses winning at the CCI***** level there, that it really turned us off the program, and we are not making the championships a priority this year. We were not turned off breeding which we LOVE, but we were turned off our previously enthusiastic participation in the FEH.

I hope someone with clout/influence is reading this--WitsEnd breeds/brings amazing horses, and has been a wonderful supporter of this program.

As an organizer, I offer the classes for breeders like WitsEnd and JER to have a meaningful place to showcase their babies...if we're really only getting more lip-service about necessary changes/clarifications and alienating the target clientele, the program will never survive.

elizabeth Callahan
Jan. 8, 2012, 07:50 AM
I have never gone to the championships although I have supported the individual "qualifiers". I have never thought the judging was consistent enough to warrant a full "overnighter" with babies in strange stalls and locations.
It has also never helped me market my babies - and that is the main reason that I have a half hearted attitude toward the championships. With a very few exceptions, it has not rewarded or attracted the purpose bred horses.

Unfortunately,I think the target clientele has already made their decision about the usefulness of the program as it stands and although I would really lik e to hope that this change will help, I am not sure we will see a substantial difference in the way in which it has been run
JMO

inquisitive
Jan. 9, 2012, 08:37 AM
Good. This is a very necessary step if this program is ever going to achieve its goals.

:)

JER, I agree with just about everything you've said regarding the FEH program. But I just want to note that this has, from my experience, already been an expectation.

From the entry form: NOTE: Please fax your horse’s pedigree information to the USEA, or mail to USEA, 525 Old Waterford Rd. NW, Leesburg, VA 20176

I'm not sure why this is an emphasis in the article as just about every show I've been to has listed in the program the pedigrees of every horse. Maybe it's a problem for West or Central?

Also agree judging is too sporadic to warrant a championship qualification score, though for the most part I don't think I've seen many scores below that so not sure it's really enforcing anything anyway. However, judging criteria/scoring might change.

retreadeventer
Jan. 9, 2012, 09:01 AM
I wonder if running this as a futurity, with pay-ins, and area/regional based judged shows all by the same judges who travel to all the areas, would help it achieve the quality and consistency it would need to become marketable.

After all, the quarter horse people have developed the futurity system to a fine art, and it has helped to sell, market, create interest in selling and marketing, and fed the horse show system for them for decades. Can't be all wrong.

If we had two judges who got along, were above reproach and huge credentials and knew what they were doing judge ALL -- what a difference that would make. If we gave young horses two opportunities per area, maybe one in the smaller areas, to come to an already existing USEA recognized event and show under these guys. We would have a Top ten based on scores nationally without the need for a head to head championship; but could also offer the West/East championship at the current venues based on scores AND placings. If a horse WINS an area competition, they should be eligible to the championship, no matter what the score.

We don't need a whole lot of FEH classes, I just think we need GOOD quality ones, and wouldn't it be nice to win money like the futurities do, where you at least can have the opportunity to get an entry fee or some gas money back when you place, and possibly pay for the whole weekend and a couple bags of grain if you win! :)

lecoeurtriste
Jan. 9, 2012, 10:14 AM
...and wouldn't it be nice to win money like the futurities do, where you at least can have the opportunity to get an entry fee or some gas money back when you place, and possibly pay for the whole weekend and a couple bags of grain if you win! :)

While not a bad idea, it's not feasible with the number of participants and current (reasonable) entry fees.

We've run the FEH at a financial loss twice each year for the last 5 years (and I organize, secretary, set-up, score, etc. for free). The average entry fee for an FEH is only $50, and most shows only have 10-20 entries. So, there isn't much left in the 'pot' to redistribute to winners after paying for the judge, prizes, ribbons, the facility, etc.

JER
Jan. 9, 2012, 11:46 AM
JER, I agree with just about everything you've said regarding the FEH program. But I just want to note that this has, from my experience, already been an expectation.

From the entry form: NOTE: Please fax your horse’s pedigree information to the USEA, or mail to USEA, 525 Old Waterford Rd. NW, Leesburg, VA 20176

But this is different from this:


The USEA is also encouraging owners to submit a copy of their horses’ pedigrees when they are registered so the USEA can start to gather the information needed to create a searchable database in the future.

secretariat has posted on here several times about how the program PTB declined to have a tracking system/database when the program started, despite the urging of breeders like secretariat.

It seems that the USEA has finally gotten the message. The numbers aren't big -- they're tiny by data standards -- so tracking entries, scoring, and tying them to future performance records should not be difficult at all.

I do hope the USEA FEH folks are reading this thread as well as the other recent FEH discussion. If they are, they'll see a group of eventers/breeders/organizers who are supportive of the program and want to see it thrive.

:)

inquisitive
Jan. 9, 2012, 12:33 PM
Ah, I guess I didn't think the searchable DB would be anything other than the USEA dashboard (which isn't really searchable by pedigree, just thought that was their "lingo"). I figured they were going to actually start putting FEH results into the existing DB for USEA results, instead of just an HTML page. Right now if you search for my FEH horses, their records are empty except the standard details (including breeding) that I filled in.

Guess we'll see what they come up with :)

lecoeurtriste
Jan. 9, 2012, 01:09 PM
I figured they were going to actually start putting FEH results into the existing DB for USEA results...

It would be wonderful if USEA would include the YEH and FEH results in the horses' records (from the beginning of the programs)! The horses have to be registered to have done the classes, so they might as well post the final scores and placings (especially now that we have to send in $10 USEA starter fees just like regular horse trials classes).

FLIPPED HER HALO
Jan. 9, 2012, 02:23 PM
We have mixed feelings about requiring a certain score to go to the championships.
1. turn out has not been huge without a qualifying score, so I wonder if this will really hit attendance.

In general, I think achieving a minimum score is a good thing. Championships should be "earned" right? I showed my boy in the USDF shows in 2010, and in order to qualify for championships, he had to prequalify at a show, and they had to have gone to at least 3 shows prior to championships. The top 3 from each class competed for champion and reserve. Those winners qualified to attend championships. Also, a score of 77% or higher in their class automatically qualified them. My boy qualified both in scores and in being reserve in a championship class. So every horse at championships was there because of their prequalifiying.

Even with year end USDF HOY awards, they had to achieve a median score of at least 65% after 3 shows. The program says it's to recognize outstanding horses....

We were going to do the FEH shows in 2010 (got our number etc), but they are several hours drive away from us. It just wasn't feasible to haul all that way to do one in-hand class and come back home.

He is being started over fences this spring now that he is turning 4, and hopefully we will go do the YEH as a 5 year old.

Wits End Eventing
Jan. 9, 2012, 07:41 PM
In general, I think achieving a minimum score is a good thing. Championships should be "earned" right?

We agree with you; however, the point we were trying to make is that, until the judging standards are more controlled, an individual score does not really stand for anything since scores can vary SO widely from show to show. The example with our Halflinger/German Sport Pony cross who qualified for the championships was supposed to illustrate that. Yes, Val has plenty of talent, and he is darn cute :D but he will probably max out at 14h. Could he be the smallest horse to ever go around Rolex? Perhaps......but we would put our money on our TB/ISH (7/8TB) cross out of a mare that schooled advanced who didn't get the qualifying score but then won her division at the championships...... SO, our concern is that we are setting an arbitrary "number" when the program has not shown that it can produce consistent scoring.



I wonder if running this as a futurity, with pay-ins, and area/regional based judged shows all by the same judges who travel to all the areas, would help it achieve the quality and consistency it would need to become marketable.

Exactly. What the program needs is someone with BOTH the passion and the time to line up a good set of sponsors. I believe Michelle Robbins was instrumental in getting the current sponsor, a little help from someone good at that kind of thing would go a long way.


I have never gone to the championships although I have supported the individual "qualifiers". I have never thought the judging was consistent enough to warrant a full "overnighter" with babies in strange stalls and locations.
It has also never helped me market my babies - and that is the main reason that I have a half hearted attitude toward the championships. With a very few exceptions, it has not rewarded or attracted the purpose bred horses.

It is a sad state of affairs when the 2009 USEF Eventing Breeder of the Year feels this way about the program. We think a big part of the issue is that the program has not really reached out to the breeders to find out what they want and what works for them.