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View Full Version : Re: Carolina Gold and How to Change



Claudius
Feb. 24, 2012, 04:36 PM
I am so thrilled to read that this new drug is being questioned and that others are noticing the stullifying effects it is having on the horses. But the perameters of the hunter division require that horses behave like automatons with no allowable expression. And it is a moot point which came first, the chicken or the egg. So I say, lets start at the top.....let's educate the judges to learn to pin "Real" performances.....most of today's judges have come up through the industry on/with/around altered horses. So naturally they are looking for them in the ring. Can we do as the AQHA is doing and come back up that path we have stumbled down in order to return to a more natural appearing winner?? I don't know how this could be done....I have ideas....like maybe the required "clinics" for recognized judges could address this issue.
I think, what the judges PIN, the trainers will PRODUCE. The current trend is requiring trainers to go to extreme measures like Carolina Gold , Dex, Depo, LTD and all the rest. So can we change what the judges PIN????

S A McKee
Feb. 24, 2012, 04:58 PM
I am so thrilled to read that this new drug is being questioned and that others are noticing the stullifying effects it is having on the horses. But the perameters of the hunter division require that horses behave like automatons with no allowable expression. And it is a moot point which came first, the chicken or the egg. So I say, lets start at the top.....let's educate the judges to learn to pin "Real" performances.....most of today's judges have come up through the industry on/with/around altered horses. So naturally they are looking for them in the ring. Can we do as the AQHA is doing and come back up that path we have stumbled down in order to return to a more natural appearing winner?? I don't know how this could be done....I have ideas....like maybe the required "clinics" for recognized judges could address this issue.
I think, what the judges PIN, the trainers will PRODUCE. The current trend is requiring trainers to go to extreme measures like Carolina Gold , Dex, Depo, LTD and all the rest. So can we change what the judges PIN????

Judges have to attend clinics every X years.
At those clinics they are being told that comatose is what they should be looking for.
There was a recent thread about fake tails and a statement about not pinning any horses without fakes was attributed to a well known judge.
This is the type of nonsense that is pervasive in USEF's approvals for judges and their clinics.

The rules need to change then the rest will fall into place.

Claudius
Feb. 24, 2012, 06:37 PM
Even those of us on COTH. Can we see if we have a consensus about the hunter division? If we can, and we can get enought USEF members to sign something to that effect, can't we make a difference? Can't we atleast TRY??? Where are you LH when I need you????

Rabbitman9
Feb. 24, 2012, 07:19 PM
It's time for most of you to take note and reform and revise what you look for in the the hunter rings...and the USEF and Hunter/Jumper board members as well.....really? Rewarding horses that have been "calmed" and go like zombies. Fake tails? Can anyone provide a supporting argument that requires needles and various potions in order to have a top hunter horse?

chunky munky
Feb. 24, 2012, 07:33 PM
I may be mistaken but i believe that comment being referred to about fake tails was made by a trainer ( not a judge) in an article about turnout, not about judging.
I have been attending judges clinics from the time they began. Not once have I heard discussion in regard to fake tails affecting opinion.
Not once have I heard it said that the best horse has to be the quietest one. It certainly can't be the one acting like a jackass, but I don't think that most judges want the deadest one. They want the one that jumps up and gets round and looks through the bridle with interest. Unfortunately we do not see that horse very often

FLeventer
Feb. 24, 2012, 09:23 PM
Ok, I agree with you on everything except your dislike for Depo. I am currently at a barn that has quite a few mares that are on it. The reason is because regumate is so dangerous. Really, its not all that different except you inject it instead of leaving it in the fridge and putting it in your mares food.

Just wanted to state my point, carry on.

NOMIOMI1
Feb. 24, 2012, 11:17 PM
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-the-usage-of-none/

petition for this ;)

Atlas Shrugged
Feb. 24, 2012, 11:58 PM
Just signed the above Petition and "Liked" it on facebook.... let's keep this going!

Claudius
Feb. 25, 2012, 07:59 AM
i DID TOO. Come on everyone...maybe we can make a difference!!! Someone commented, " You guys are just ganging up on the pros!!" NOT! We are making a statement to the hunter participants that says , " you are involved in a sport that does not allow drugs." plain and simple. the obvious seguey (sp) to this is, "now you will have to learn to ride better in order to be competitive."

MHM
Feb. 25, 2012, 10:00 AM
the obvious seguey (sp) to this is, "now you will have to learn to ride better in order to be competitive."

You've hit on something there.

I think it's easier for a lesser rider to be competitive on a horse that is overprepared rather than underprepared. Whether it's because people want to show before they're really ready, or they only ride a couple of days a week, or whatever, they have a better chance at a good trip if Dobbin is very, very quiet. One way or another.

I, too, have attended many judges' clinics, and I've never heard the panelists say, "The slowest one wins."

chunky munky
Feb. 25, 2012, 10:23 AM
It is just as often that the trainer wants the client to show before they are ready. When they go off to a show they need to fill the trailer. Especially at the more local level I see riders in the 2'6" hunteres that really don't even know how to canter and are staying on by mere law of gravity. And you wonder why the horses need drugs? ( Not that i am condoning administration of illegal drugs or premature showing practices)

Ghazzu
Feb. 25, 2012, 11:09 AM
The system is FUBAR.
Gone are the days when hunters actually hunted, and the purpose of a show was to see who had the nicest hunter.
Shows, even A rated, were more often than not charity fundraisers, largely put on by volunteers.
Now they're cash cow for profit franchises.

Showing is now a business. Not simply riding and enjoying the horse.
Riders want to show before they can ride well enough, trainers want all their clients on the showgrounds with them in order to keep collecting training and coaching fees, so we end up with people bragging about going to AA shows who are actually competing in unrated divisions.

It's beyond the point where anyone can even realistically assign blame--there's a real chicken and egg conundrum.

Perhaps at some point, the wider economic mess will cause a crash and burn of the entire "industry".

Plumcreek
Feb. 25, 2012, 12:10 PM
Referencing AQHA again:
They have done something really clever this year; the new 'Ranch Horse Pleasure' class at AQHA shows. Recognizing that Western Pleasure (like hunters) was FUBAR, and beyond redemption, a new WP division class has been started requiring moving out at all gaits, and penalizing silver tack and blinged outfits. First shows report around 40 entries in this class versus 6-10 in the regular WP. No cross entering - you have to choose, heh heh.

Monarch
Feb. 25, 2012, 01:13 PM
I love watching a beautiful hunter go. Don't like showing hunters because winning is not as cut and dry as jumpers. You are relying on one persons (generally) opinion on how your horse stacked up to their idea of a great hunter. The horses way of going, jumping style, mannerisms etc. all subjective.
Who doesn't want to ride a scopey quite going horse?
Want to end the drugging for this effect if not natural? Stop the hunter divisions. Before you tar and feather me I know this will not happen for too many reasons to list here.

The question that has come to my mind is: Is there more drugging done to win or is it just to get the client in the ring and around the course?

I would like to think that a pro could ride a horse and be competitive without chemical help.

I had thought that with the influx of all the quite warmbloods compared to you know those crazy TB's that it would have eliminated the need to chemically quite one or LTD for that matter.

People seem to have no patience or work ethic anymore. I could be wrong in this general statement.

When I show in the hunters I take it with a grain of salt. I have had the best rounds of my life on the best horse and gone home empty handed. Then again I have put in some of the worst rounds and for what ever reason the judge that day thought my horse could do no wrong and we went home with the championship ribbon. Most of the time it is somewhere in the middle. I also think it would have gone this way even if I had drugged my horse.

I don't know how you make the judging any less subjective than it all ready is.

Lord Helpus
Feb. 25, 2012, 01:44 PM
A couple of easy things to do which might raise awareness:

1. Do not use euphemisms. A horse is not "over-prepared", it is either drugged or LTD or both. Call a spade a spade.

2. Exhibitors, Make yourself part of the solution --- ASK your trainer what drugs your horse has in his system on show day. Do not allow trainers to give your horse anything that you haven't approved of. Educate yourself; know what each drug does. Not just the approved use, but the side effects (which are probably the reason the drug is being administered.) If your trainer is defensive and less than forthcoming, tell him that you are willing to put yourself down as trainer and him/her as coach. If drugs are found in a horse's system, the owner and trainer are liable.

If your trainer knows that you could be brought up on charges (the owner is usually fined a low amount and told to give the ribbons back, it is the trainer who is the responsible party if drugs show up on a drug test), then your trainer will be more likely to be honest.

3. Fight for a zero tolerance policy. The FEI has one. TB racing is moving in that direction. This zero tolerance policy is enforced by: 1. The FEI: Having all horses quarantined off into a separate stabling area 24 hours before the competition. 2. At the track, NO ONE except licensed vets are allowed to have any drugs or drug associated paraphernalia in his possession. Trainers can be set down for having a syringe in their office. Plus horses are moved into a holding barn X hours before their race.

~~~If customers do not take responsibility for their horses' performance, then why should other people? Is the customer intimidated by the trainer? Bad excuse. Does the customer not want to know what Dobbin has been given? Is winning is more important than putting each horse on a level playing field?

Trainers can and will find ways around medication rules as long as their customers expect and want to ride drugged horses. If we, as exhibitors, want the status quo changed, then we must be willing to look in the mirror to find the root cause of it.

S A McKee
Feb. 25, 2012, 01:47 PM
I may be mistaken but i believe that comment being referred to about fake tails was made by a trainer ( not a judge) in an article about turnout, not about judging.
I have been attending judges clinics from the time they began. Not once have I heard discussion in regard to fake tails affecting opinion.
Not once have I heard it said that the best horse has to be the quietest one. It certainly can't be the one acting like a jackass, but I don't think that most judges want the deadest one. They want the one that jumps up and gets round and looks through the bridle with interest. Unfortunately we do not see that horse very often

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=333420&highlight=fake

please re-read the thread.
A poster who admits to being a judge stated that she/he uses it as a tie breaker.

I'm sure you are thinking of Dignelli's remarks about a fake tail being traditional.LMAO. Quote from the thread below.
And by the way,fake tails are hardly traditional, unless you are doing AQHA of course.

"Interesting article, though I had to laugh when A. Dignelli said that hunters without a fake tail should be included in the nontraditional category of fashion. I don't recall seeing too many fake tails years ago in the hunter classes.

Here's the statement: Andre Dignelli, a top hunter, jumper and equitation trainer in Katonah, N.Y., admitted that if he notices a rider and horse in the ring who are not (both) dressed to the nines, it would be enough to “take something away from even a perfect round.”

“When a horse walks in and doesn’t have the right tack on, is wearing a saddle pad that’s inappropriate, doesn’t have a fake tail, is not beautifully braided or isn’t wearing well-oiled tack,” he listed off, “it doesn’t look well turned-out. And the rider needs to have well-fitting boots, the right breeches. I like it to look like traditional hunter classes.”

Bolded for emphasis.

And Chunky, according to the rules 'playing' is a major or minor fault ( depending on the judge, who is being judged, if the horse exhibits 'quality' which is not mentioned in the rule book, who owns it,who sold it, etc.)

So admit it, if the best jumper and mover in the class even thinks about playing you'll knock it out of the ribbons won't you? After all, that's what the rules say. and you judge by the rules right?

chunky munky
Feb. 25, 2012, 02:12 PM
Simple answer, no. There are degrees of everything. If a small pony bucks, out. If a pregreen gets a little proud of himself in the corner and shakes his head, not a big issue. And though I know you seem to have an attitude about any opinion I have, I am very confident that I judge by the rules.
Incidently the text regarding fake tails has nothing to do with what is shared at clinics regarding judging. This is an opinion of an individual that is obviously an accomplished horseman, but alas, not a licensed official. And again, that is about turn out, not judging although you may wish to interpret it support your claims.By the way I may be incorrect but I don't think that the AQHA allows fake tails. I have been told about their hair extensions, and hence all the tail bags.
There are hundreds and hundreds of judges these days. Not all agree on the degree of what is a disobedience, or if a horse would look better with a fake tail or many other things for that matter. How close to a jump is too close? How fast is too fast? How hard was that rub? Many things in the hunter ring are not as black and white as you may wish them to be. We all have pet peeves and things we give brownie points for.
This is why there is a different judge every week. Cocolate and vanilla.
And the judges are printed in the prizelist. If an exhibitor doesn't feel that they will be judged effectively or fairly, then don't show in front of them

supershorty628
Feb. 25, 2012, 02:30 PM
Okay, I'm all for fighting doping, but I DO NOT support a zero-tolerance policy that is modeled after the FEI. The FEI tests are too sensitive to be realistic; some of the things that trigger a positive on an FEI test could not possibly have any effect in the minute amount that it takes to show up.

I think there's a difference between using approved substances correctly, like an NSAID for an older horse who might be jumping around the big tracks, and going against the drug rule. I'm not at all sure that taking away that option is the way to go. I'm all for being ethical, but I don't think a gung-ho zero tolerance policy is the best way across the board.

If I misinterpreted and the zero-tolerance idea was meant just for quieting substances, please correct me!

Just curious, how many people reading/posting on this thread have used Perfect Prep or something like it?

BeeHoney
Feb. 25, 2012, 02:34 PM
A couple of easy things to do which might raise awareness:

1. Do not use euphemisms. A horse is not "over-prepared", it is either drugged or LTD or both. Call a spade a spade.

2. Exhibitors, Make yourself part of the solution --- ASK your trainer what drugs your horse has in his system on show day. Do not allow trainers to give your horse anything that you haven't approved of. Educate yourself; know what each drug does. Not just the approved use, but the side effects (which are probably the reason the drug is being administered.) If your trainer is defensive and less than forthcoming, tell him that you are willing to put yourself down as trainer and him/her as coach. If drugs are found in a horse's system, the owner and trainer are liable.

If your trainer knows that you could be brought up on charges (the owner is usually fined a low amount and told to give the ribbons back, it is the trainer who is the responsible party if drugs show up on a drug test), then your trainer will be more likely to be honest.

3. Fight for a zero tolerance policy. The FEI has one. TB racing is moving in that direction. This zero tolerance policy is enforced by: 1. The FEI: Having all horses quarantined off into a separate stabling area 24 hours before the competition. 2. At the track, NO ONE except licensed vets are allowed to have any drugs or drug associated paraphernalia in his possession. Trainers can be set down for having a syringe in their office. Plus horses are moved into a holding barn X hours before their race.

~~~If customers do not take responsibility for their horses' performance, then why should other people? Is the customer intimidated by the trainer? Bad excuse. Does the customer not want to know what Dobbin has been given? Is winning is more important than putting each horse on a level playing field?

Trainers can and will find ways around medication rules as long as their customers expect and want to ride drugged horses. If we, as exhibitors, want the status quo changed, then we must be willing to look in the mirror to find the root cause of it.

Amen.

I would only add that I think that the judging does have to change too. I think that expressiveness and a good pace and a little bit of keenness should be rewarded, minor head shakes or tail swishes should be ignored, and that any dullness or an overly slow pace needs to be penalized. A horse with self carriage and balance, a good jumping pace and a beautiful jumping style should be the ideal.

FLeventer, I have no problem with mares being on depo, but I think it becomes more questionable when it is given to geldings.

To me what it boils down to is that unless the judging changes people will try anything that they can get away with to try to get their horses to perform in that ultra quiet zombie "hunter" manner which is currently so well rewarded at the shows.

Fake tails are a totally different issue. I really don't think you can put fake tails in the same class as pharmacological interventions.

Plumcreek
Feb. 25, 2012, 03:08 PM
Really tough to change judging perspectives, rule books, etc. Just make it simple:
If you win Champion or Reserve in any hunter division, rated or not, at an A or AA show, your horse WILL be tested. Increase drug test fees so this can happen, and only test these few horses so fees do not need to be raised very much. Meet these horses and ponies at the gate after the last class jogs and escort them to the test stall.

bugsynskeeter
Feb. 25, 2012, 03:17 PM
By the way I may be incorrect but I don't think that the AQHA allows fake tails. I have been told about their hair extensions, and hence all the tail bags.

AQHA allows fake tails and as of this year, they also allow weighted tails. Halter horses often have glue in hair extensions.

chunky munky
Feb. 25, 2012, 03:23 PM
Gotcha. I knew there was some deal about tails. Do they also check for tail injecting?

kporkchop
Feb. 25, 2012, 03:35 PM
Amen.

I would only add that I think that the judging does have to change too. I think that expressiveness and a good pace and a little bit of keenness should be rewarded, minor head shakes or tail swishes should be ignored, and that any dullness or an overly slow pace needs to be penalized. A horse with self carriage and balance, a good jumping pace and a beautiful jumping style should be the ideal. .

I showed my 13-yo OTTB in a non-rated Benefit Show in the Fall with, in her time, one of the most well-respected hunter judges in the country. She didn't care for my horse in TB division (and I didnt ride particularly well coming off an injury) and judge commented to my trainer that she was judging locally at an upcoming rated show in area, implying not to rider him under her. Later in day, friend who is a much more talented rider than I took my horse in Hunter Derby class, and was second out of 24....for the reason that he is a keen and bold hunter.... my point? Maybe showing him in a class that rewards natural behavior of a forward bold field hunter type is the direction we with spirited guys should move to... (Field Hunter O/F 3' ???)

Eye in the Sky
Feb. 25, 2012, 03:35 PM
The system is FUBAR.
Gone are the days when hunters actually hunted, and the purpose of a show was to see who had the nicest hunter.
Shows, even A rated, were more often than not charity fundraisers, largely put on by volunteers.
Now they're cash cow for profit franchises.

Showing is now a business. Not simply riding and enjoying the horse.
Riders want to show before they can ride well enough, trainers want all their clients on the showgrounds with them in order to keep collecting training and coaching fees, so we end up with people bragging about going to AA shows who are actually competing in unrated divisions.

It's beyond the point where anyone can even realistically assign blame--there's a real chicken and egg conundrum.

Perhaps at some point, the wider economic mess will cause a crash and burn of the entire "industry".

This times a MILLION!!

bugsynskeeter
Feb. 25, 2012, 03:39 PM
Gotcha. I knew there was some deal about tails. Do they also check for tail injecting?

Yes...hence allowing weighted tails as it reduces the want to inject. All winner at national shows are tail tested.

Thoroughbred in Color
Feb. 25, 2012, 05:35 PM
By the way I may be incorrect but I don't think that the AQHA allows fake tails. I have been told about their hair extensions, and hence all the tail bags.


From page 127 of the 2012 AQHA Rule Book

"(8) Tails may be lengthened by hair to hair attachment only with no attachments of any kind to the tailbone. The use of weighted tails is legal."

I do use a tail extension on my paint mare for shows. A large chunk of her tail was cut off by a vindictive boarder at a barn I used to board at. It is a 1/2 lb braid in extension that does not inhibit her ability to move her own tail. It is about presenting a nice overall picture, and like it or not a scraggly tail that stops at the hocks distracts from an otherwise good presentation.

The problem I see with tail extensions is that the larger ones, 1 lb and up, are not used to enhance the natural tail, but to camouflage poor conformation; both as a visual distraction for less than perfect gaits and as well as physically hiding things like cow hocks.

S A McKee
Feb. 25, 2012, 07:13 PM
Really tough to change judging perspectives, rule books, etc. Just make it simple:
If you win Champion or Reserve in any hunter division, rated or not, at an A or AA show, your horse WILL be tested. Increase drug test fees so this can happen, and only test these few horses so fees do not need to be raised very much. Meet these horses and ponies at the gate after the last class jogs and escort them to the test stall.

Why would it be hard to change the rule book?

Each year there are lots of changes that impact the Hunter division. The change to test Champions and Reserves would probably require a rule change or at least a clarification.

But if you mean it would be a problem to fight the Pros who seem to like the 'better living by chemistry' method you might be right. That way they don't actually have to train, they just adjust the dosage.

Dinah-do
Feb. 25, 2012, 07:27 PM
Ghazzu - well written. It is such a mess. The trainers and judges have all the power in the show offices. No smily trainer, no entries. Short of a major implosion how will a rule change or two do anything?

chunky munky
Feb. 25, 2012, 08:10 PM
Curious what power you think judges have in the show office. If management in most cases could use a computer to judge the show, believe me they would LOL

ToTheNines
Feb. 25, 2012, 08:42 PM
I am an old timer, and hope that maybe someday the current style of the lumbering warmblood will change to a more energetic style. Go look at the olivertwist poster who posted the video of her terrific QH at a local show at 2'9". Horse trucks along, jumps cute, and both look like they are having a blast. Little tight in the last line, but the horse looks fun and happy, and if I were a judge I would pin that over something dull any day. In fact, I actually prefer local shows -- I think the judges look for something fun and are not so wrapped up in "the jump".

Dinah-do
Feb. 25, 2012, 09:22 PM
Judges pin something other than what the majority of trainers present trainers complain and take their clients elsewhere. Unless owners step up and vote with their feet and mean what they say judging will not change. The whole hunter land is so convoluted. Like a tangled ball of wool that you just throw out.

chunky munky
Feb. 25, 2012, 09:48 PM
Years ago when bodybuilding felt that the medicating etc had gotten out of hand they started a "natural " bodybuilding circuit. Perhaps this would work for some. No drugs, no braiding do it what ever way people want. Write your own rules.Bring back the outside course, whatever. Might be fun.

Showing at the AA level is not for everybody. But I can't say that most people that show at that level think that the judging is bad.Let's face it, a show hunter and a field hunter have been two entirely different things for about 40 years now.There are probably about 400 judges to choose from. They can't all be ignorant.People have complained about horse show judging and dishonesty since the 1920's and maybe before. I once read an editorial from the 30's about just that.

There are plenty of valid and fun ways to enjoy horses if showing at the AA level is that distasteful.Some people love it, some hate it. Whatever rules you put in, you can't legislate morality, good sportsmanship and humane treatment of animals. There are always those that will find ways around the rules. There are those that will ply their animals with chemicals which they have no idea the safety or content of. There are horses that will show 50 weeks a year. Nobody likes any of that, but it is also hard to legislate good judgement.
I think that changes will have to come from within and the people that play at that level. When you start bringing in animal rights groups and policemen you may soon find that horse shows will be under such scrutiny that they lose any sponsor and public support that they work so hard to get. Should that happen, then I am pretty sure that horse shows as we know them will disappear all together. Some may think that is a good thing. Just something to think about.

chunky munky
Feb. 26, 2012, 06:36 PM
Yes, I am going to do my own bump. Sorry.