If you are curious and want to know why she is doing it, why don't you ask her, instead of a bunch of strangers on a bulletin board?
Yes, I have competed extensively at recognized dressage competitions (through PSG), and also done a couple of horse trials. Garant, E.M. Bo Peep, Dior, S.H. King Me. Lots of breed shows, including Devon. I've ridden through Grand Prix.
within the last 5 years, I have been Vintage Cup Horse of the Year at Grand Prix, on my own horse that I bought as a 2 yr old, have won numerous USDF championships on a variety of horses, and right now am sitting in the top 5 at 2nd level on my 6 yr old non-warmblood in vintage cup. I have also won at Arabian Nationals, but have not had Arabians to compete with for a few years.
So yes, I think I have a clue.
Scores @ 63% at 2nd level are "not ready for prime time". Especially if the horse can score 70 plus at first level. Tells me he is no where near ready to be competitive, is just dipping his toes into second level and has a lot more work to do. It also tells me that this isn't the type of horse that can skate into good scores just because of his gaits. I certainly wouldn't show at a Nationals at that level. Why spend at that time, effort and $$ to fill the class for someone else ?
And the odds are that some fancy young horse is going to beat the pants off of that one anyway, so nbd.
Originally Posted by Gloria
Originally Posted by rebecca yount
Originally Posted by Pely
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
If you continue to compete at the lower level while moving up a level at some shows, people will accuse you of sandbagging (as here).
If you move up to a new level before your horse is spectacular at that level, then you are accused of being an incompetent rider, or pushing your horse too fast.
If she QUALIFIED at Training, she must have been COMPETING at Training. Therfore it seem entirely appropriate to be competing in the Training championships.
It sounds to me as if they started the year bridging Training and First, and finihed the year bridging First and Second (e.g., great at First and competent at Second)
I don't now how competitive the breed show finals are, but to me it makes perfect sence to enter the finals at the levels you are qualified and have a good chance of doing very well (Tr and 1st), and NOT enter the finals at a level where you may be qualified, but don't have much chance of placing well (Second in this case).
Once the horse is going REALLY well at Second, she won't be showing and qualifying at Training, and then she won't be in the Training finals. Problem solved.
ANy "Finals" are about showing off the things you have completely mastered, not about progressing the education of the horse, or competing "just because you qualified". (There is nothing wrong with entering the finals, just because you qualified, but that isn't generally the focus of the competition.)
Guys, chill a bit will you? This is a simple question, no need to get offended or upset. I am happy to see them at First and did well, but no, I wasn't happy to see that pair at Training, and that was the start of the thread because it baffled and annoyed me. And no, I'm not ashamed to say that that practice annoyed me. Yes, I can see that she is not competitive at 2nd, so I can see why she is not showing at 2nd. And yes, I can see, after Sonoma's post, see why she is showing at Training.
Again, this is a simple question. If I wanted to bash her, I would have given out more details about her and it would be very easy to see whom I'm talking about.
This is a question of "apart from chasing ribbons, why somebody does such and such", not "why SHE does such and such".
Rebecca and Pely, did you compete at Finals at two levels? Especially with one level being "Training"? It seems to make more sense to me that people compete at two consecutive level at "higher" levels, not Training level. Now please understand that I'm not trying to be mean or offend you, I'm honestly curious whether that is normally done.
Janet, your explanation makes sense. I know it is legal that a pair compete at two consecutive levels. My question: do you see it done regularly at Finals, especially at lower levels? Training level? - chewing bit and thinking...
I have seen it done at Arab finals a lot. I do not own Arabs but I knew someone that did and compete there at one time.
Just about everyone qualifies and competes 2 levels at USDF Regionals.
Umm interesting... Thanks.
[edit to add]: Now, the two levels people compete at Regionals, is one level the pair is confident in, and the higher level they are competent in but still present a challenge; or both levels a piece of cake, where the horse can close his eyes and do the whole test easily?
Given that Morgan GN's are happening, it wouldn't be a Morgan, would it?
I plan to try to qualify at intro and training next year. If I go to any championship show I want as many classes as possible.
Perfect Pony, your comment, "to try to qualify at intro and training next year", tells me that you are working hard at training level, which tells me that Training level is not an easy walk for you, at least not yet. It makes perfect sense then that you aim to show both training and intro at Championship, and that is admirable and advisable, because you will be competent at Training and confident in Intro. Now, if Training is a piece of cake for you, would you accept my plead to leave Intro to Intro folks?
I don't think so. I hope training is a peice of cake by next fall, and I would also hope I am schooling first. I will still show at intro! She will only be 4.
The levels are not so divided that one is a "piece of cake" while the next highest is more difficult, especially as one moves up the levels.
There isn't as much difference between training and first if the horse's training is on track. Both require working gaits. There is a difference in the amount of collection required between first and second. working/lengthening vrs. collected/medium.
Some horses, when confirmed in the single flying change have more difficulty again with the simple changes.
I would compete in a championship show at the levels where my horse was proficient. Sometimes the higher level is an easier test for that horse !
Training should be linear and progressive, and done according to the training scale, but the tests for competition are only guidelines, not absolutes.
A bit OT, but I HEARTILY disagree that just because a horse is getting fabulous scores it is sandbagging or working "beneath" it's level.
My trainer has a young (4yo) green bean that scored a 75% at its very first USDF show. I've sat on him, and he barely steers! Surely if she showed him the whole season (she just brought him out), the scores would only have improved. However, this horse was exactly at the appropriate level--he's just a great mover and she knows how to show him off.
I do know some people are awards whores--that will never change--but the score itself doesn't tell you the whole story.
Pely, thank you for the explanation. That makes sense, and actually explains another "mystery" that I've been contemplating... That pair in my example is extremely proficient at both Training and First, meaning, very accurate and fluid. It was an easy walk at the park for that horse at First Level, and a total piece of cake at Training. They actually got similar scores at both levels. If I just looked at the First Level scores alone, I would say they were knocking at the door of 2nd, but then I was confounded at the lack of powers and the First Level frame a First Level horse ready for 2nd should have. Now I'm very curious whether they would move up to 2nd next year.
Pony Fixer, I totally agree that scores alone don't tell a whole story. I think a few eye brows are being raised when the horse is a mature seasoned dressage horse.