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View Full Version : Editorial in COTH 3/19/12



Running Fox Farm
Mar. 31, 2012, 09:55 PM
ok, is it me or did no one read this particular editorial or do editorials generally get the page flip treatment? Beth Rasin, I don't often agree with the editorials I read in COTH, but this one was STELLAR, and I salute you for stepping up to the plate and saying what needs to be said in such a public forum as The Chronicle. If there was a thread addressing this, I apologize for the revisit, but I did scan backwards in the files and didn't see one. You said what needs to be said instead of it being "whispered" ,as you noted in your piece. Yes, drugging has always been an issue, you acknowledged that too. But, the division could more appropriately be called " Pleasure Hunters". How many times have any of you ridden out in the hunt field at the pace you show in the ring? The briiliant round, the bold fence, they should be rewarded. Why are we doing the " LTD". drugs, or God-knows-what to produce these artificially slow rounds? Your parargraph that states
" That's why Soule suggests modifying the judging. It seems like it's often whispered' That's what needs to happen' but where does it start? With someone on a horse welfare committee insisting on it? With one judge brave enough to reward a brilliant round with a bit of exuberance over a robotic but technically correct round? With a course designer who abandons strict footage measurements in lines? Trainers who say ' you're not ready to show yet' to a student who isn't a secure rider?"
I can't improve one iota on your closing, so I will quote it;
" Many people agree this is the right direction for the sport, but who's brave enough to take the first step?"

S A McKee
Mar. 31, 2012, 10:22 PM
[QUOTE=Running Fox Farm;6228788 " Many people agree this is the right direction for the sport, but who's brave enough to take the first step?"[/QUOTE]

USHJA took a position on this topic about two weeks ago.
I guess nobody reads the CEO's blog either.
http://www.ushja.org/ShelbysBlog/FrenchSpeak_post.aspx?id=68

Running Fox Farm
Apr. 1, 2012, 12:13 PM
Blogs... I don't pay much attention to blogs as they seem more like a personal opinion than an official stance. Or is my understanding of what a blog is incorrect, as it very well could be?

S A McKee
Apr. 1, 2012, 02:42 PM
Blogs... I don't pay much attention to blogs as they seem more like a personal opinion than an official stance. Or is my understanding of what a blog is incorrect, as it very well could be?

That's really too bad that you have that attitude .

Why don't you try reading about it and how it fits into USHJA's communications with the public before you dismiss it.

It is part of USHJA's website and USHJA members are encouraged to ask questions through the BLOG.

Rel6
Apr. 1, 2012, 03:05 PM
I don't pay much attention to blogs as they seem more like a personal opinion than an official stance.

Yet your read COTH? You realize most of what anyone says here is personal opinion, right?

(Not slamming COTH, but the thing I love about it is how many different opinions and how much insight you can get on a topic.)

Dinah-do
Apr. 1, 2012, 04:07 PM
Not slamming any one but after watching Dedication's WEF round what are the chances that the judging will change?. Ever?

BeeHoney
Apr. 1, 2012, 05:16 PM
S A McKee, thank you for the link to Ms. French's blog. I'm glad that it seemed to support a change in judging, however, "...encourage and educate our judges that expressiveness that is not disruptive should not be penalized..." is a pretty weak statement. Getting judges to overlook a little head shake or tail swish at the end of a line isn't going to solve the problem.

Instead of "not penalizing" expressiveness, I would argue that the hunter ring needs to change the type of performance it rewards. AND, an overly slow or dull (though technically correct) round needs to be penalized.

As long as the ideal round is a horse jumping and moving like it has been lunged for hours or medicated, that is what a lot of people are going to do to try to win. There is always going to be some new not yet tested for/untestable substance that people will be experimenting with on their horses. Or "legal" drugs like Mag, dex, etc.

The day the judging starts sharply penalizing horses that look like they are overly tired or drugged, people will stop.

S A McKee
Apr. 1, 2012, 05:36 PM
S A McKee, thank you for the link to Ms. French's blog. I'm glad that it seemed to support a change in judging, however, "...encourage and educate our judges that expressiveness that is not disruptive should not be penalized..." is a pretty weak statement. Getting judges to overlook a little head shake or tail swish at the end of a line isn't going to solve the problem.

Instead of "not penalizing" expressiveness, I would argue that the hunter ring needs to change the type of performance it rewards. AND, an overly slow or dull (though technically correct) round needs to be penalized.

As long as the ideal round is a horse jumping and moving like it has been lunged for hours or medicated, that is what a lot of people are going to do to try to win. There is always going to be some new not yet tested for/untestable substance that people will be experimenting with on their horses. Or "legal" drugs like Mag, dex, etc.

The day the judging starts sharply penalizing horses that look like they are overly tired or drugged, people will stop.

Not so much a weak statement.
It's the first time anybody in a position to change the game has taken a stand on the drugging issue and the problem that a little bit of 'life' is penalized.

I've been saying on these boards for months that the rules need to change and while this isn't a rule change it is a step in that direction from someone in authority in the Hunter Jumper USEF Affiliate.

I'd like to give them the benefit of a little time to see how far they go towards rules revision.

Lord Helpus
Apr. 2, 2012, 06:12 PM
I am very glad that Taken won the Derby. He was really cantering, not doing a Western lope.

My suggestion is that the hunters be given a "time allowed" on course. The perfect time allowed might be the time that Taken took between the first jump and last. ( converted into #feet/ minute?).

Penalty to be given for every horse who exceeds that time.

This idea is not dependent on judging, nor on drugging (both of which are incredibly hard to monitor and enforce). But it will reward horses who canter on and jump out of stride. Dedication-types will incur many penalty points for cantering like he did in the first round of the Derby.

Will it possibly add another level of expertise to be proficient? Based on what I saw in the $500,000 GP on Sat night, yes it will. The time allowed was very tight and to be within the time AND fault free was very hard.

But making hunters more challenging is not a bad thing. It might make it necessary that people know how to ride to be successful.

skydy
Apr. 2, 2012, 06:46 PM
I am very glad that Taken won the Derby. He was really cantering, not doing a Western lope.

My suggestion is that the hunters be given a "time allowed" on course. The perfect time allowed might be the time that Taken took between the first jump and last. ( converted into #feet/ minute?).

Penalty to be given for every horse who exceeds that time.

This idea is not dependent on judging, nor on drugging (both of which are incredibly hard to monitor and enforce). But it will reward horses who canter on and jump out of stride. Dedication-types will incur many penalty points for cantering like he did in the first round of the Derby.

Will it possibly add another level of expertise to be proficient? Based on what I saw in the $500,000 GP on Sat night, yes it will. The time allowed was very tight and to be within the time AND fault free was very hard.

But making hunters more challenging is not a bad thing. It might make it necessary that people know how to ride to be successful.

That is a great idea Lord Helpus! :yes:

It was lovely to watch Taken's round. The difference in that round and the others was striking. The horse looked (almost) like an actual hunter, alert and interested and moving forward.
Hopefully this will be a trend and courses will be designed that favor forward moving horses. In my opinion, having more classes on grass and with natural fences, hedges and banks, can only help reverse the trend of the hunter appearing to be a W.P. horse in english tack.

Hopefully judges will help the process along, however your idea of a time allowed would surely make a change quickly, and cut the judging politics out of the equation.

Sing Mia Song
Apr. 2, 2012, 07:30 PM
I'm not a subscriber. Can anyone explain the editorial in a bit more detail?

kmwines01
Apr. 2, 2012, 09:25 PM
Just a couple of the latest threads on the COTH hunter jumper board members' opinions regarding the article and drugging....


http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=345364&highlight=drugging

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=343005&highlight=drugging

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=343187&highlight=drugging

grandprixjump
Apr. 2, 2012, 11:41 PM
Vetrinarians who are so willing to help people cheat shouldn't be allowed to be the OFFICIAL vet at rated shows.

Maybe even having to provide lists of ANY banned or Illegal substances bought by people at shows, with horses names, amount, and then could even have that checked, with amount used, if horse is showing, etc. (yes I realize there are theraputic uses for several drugs, but if a banned substance was purchased, listed for a horse not at the show, but some is GONE, that trainer HAS A PROBLEM....)

ccoronios
Apr. 3, 2012, 03:37 PM
"But making hunters more challenging is not a bad thing. It might make it necessary that people know how to ride to be successful."

Sure glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that!

C

CruisingforGold
Apr. 3, 2012, 11:18 PM
Ccoronios - Yep. Me too. WTF?

Sorry - but Shelby French? Pfft. Like I really care what she has to say.

buschkn
Apr. 4, 2012, 04:15 AM
I am very glad that Taken won the Derby. He was really cantering, not doing a Western lope.

My suggestion is that the hunters be given a "time allowed" on course. The perfect time allowed might be the time that Taken took between the first jump and last. ( converted into #feet/ minute?).

Penalty to be given for every horse who exceeds that time.

This idea is not dependent on judging, nor on drugging (both of which are incredibly hard to monitor and enforce). But it will reward horses who canter on and jump out of stride. Dedication-types will incur many penalty points for cantering like he did in the first round of the Derby.

Will it possibly add another level of expertise to be proficient? Based on what I saw in the $500,000 GP on Sat night, yes it will. The time allowed was very tight and to be within the time AND fault free was very hard.

But making hunters more challenging is not a bad thing. It might make it necessary that people know how to ride to be successful.

Well said, as always, and GREAT idea on time allowed! I also think some kind of scoring like in dressage with sheets exhibitors get at the end would do wonders for transparency and understanding. Similar to dressage each 'movement' ie fence, could receive a score and there could also be scores for between fences (misses change etc) and overall impression etc.

I don't show hunters, only jumpers, and absolutely despise the WP around a course of jumps look and the rampant lunging and drugging it encourages. I was excited when they brought the Derbies back but so far the ones I've seen have done little to restore my faith in anything to do with hunters. Brilliance is still not rewarded as a general rule.

I hope for the sake of the horses the hunters can find a way home.