Ok, so we have moved our annual inspection up in the sultry month of July and I am finalizing the Schedule.
There are some choices about how the end of the day wraps up and input is much appreciated!
The rough layout of the day is as follows:
Mares & Foals (both being inspected)
Yeld & Maiden Mares
Foals of 07
Foals of 08 (foal only to be inspected)
With the current head count we should be finishing up around 12:30. As a inspectee, would you rather A) break for lunch, do the awards, then branding or B) short break for scoring, do the awards, the branding and then have a late lunch starting around 2-2:30?
There will be food (snacks, breakfast-y things at the start of the day), as well as drinks, coffee, tea, etc. all day.
I'll make this a poll but am trying to keep the temperatures in SE PA in July in mind with the horses/ponies comfort being the most important.
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
While I ADORE the fun of the absolutely AMAZING spread set out at the inspections I've been to, as someone who has a 4.5 hr return trip, and chores to do when I get home, I appreciate the short break (perhaps some food available? I dunno...) then branding. I HATE to have to leave, but I *need* to get home.
I guess I would look at how much travel your participants have. I truly *appreciate* any effort to get me back on the road sooner, as I have usually left my home by 03:30 or so.
And that sounds so awful, because the RPSI Inspections I have been to at Wolf Run Farm have been IMPECCABLY run, and gourmet feast. And I *appreciate* every bit of it, knowing the host is footing the bill. But I also worry about falling asleep at the wheel on the way home with the *most* precious cargo aboard, ya know?
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
And you know what? after voting, I saw option "C"... short break, *branding*, lunch/awards.
I could always brand, load up, snag some WONDEROUS munchies, and scoot... and if I win any awards, well, that's fabulous, they could be dropped in the mail. (or, by then, I *know* if I'm getting one, as the scores are public for RPSI, and I can stay and bask in my glory while enjoying dessert. )
I hate being there all day and I just want to get it on and over with, to be honest.
Get it done, do the awards and lunch at the same time (have the inspection people rotate eating times, etc) and brand and get everyone home to go to bed at a decent hour.
Thats my standpoint.
www.spindletopfarm.net Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"
STF - that would be an option if the Inspectors didn't want all the horses/ponies to come back and be stood up for their Awards. Think of it like a discussion of the how & why the equine gets the score they do...and it is an opportunity for observers/attendees to get a refresher on breeding goals and breeding nicks that have worked. FWIW 25 horses generally adds about 45 minutes to the schedule.
The tough part is standing and waiting for your horse to come up for discussion and then wait for the rest to finish. But it is not like you want to miss the 'good' part, either. Then again, food is important too. And it is July. And likely to be beastly hot.
We have such a large inspection, sometimes over 55 horses, so what we do is plan for lunch from 12 noon to 1. We stop where ever we are in the schedule of inspecting and enjoy a super buffet and then get back to work fed and refreshed. It works about the middle of the day. We also have coffee and breakfast foods early in the am. People come the night before since we have permanent stabling for all horses.
http://www.talloaksfarm.net ---"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts." --- Winston Churchill
Thanks talloaks...we are hosting another inspection in October (rumor has it to be about 35 horses & ponies already) and the schedule will include a longer lunch break at a set time so that the afternoon horses aren't concerned about being Next. At that time of year, the heat is not a factor, really.
FWIW we are a private farm with limited stabling to offer at any point in time, so it is not like I can kick my FEI horses out in the paddock for the day with the breeding stallions, mares and foals, let alone the whole lot out in the heat in the Jenny Craig paddocks. So some advice of what you would prefer as an attendee at some one else's farm on a hot day would be a great help vs. what you can do at an outside facility with lots of stalls.
The awards will probably be done in the indoor, so that we are all in out of the sun at least.
Sorry to be cranky but I have been struggling with this all day. As a host you can't make everyone happy but you do your best to accommodate what you can. Oh and make sure your own stock is presented nicely too.
Because folks will have to work off their trailers and it will be July I would go for late lunch and plan for less food per person as some folks will take off right away and not stay for the food if they are done. If it's nice out after all:folks may stick around longer. If it's beastly hot then they probably will take off an not want the wee ones to bake on the trailer.
I helped out Genevieve at the inspection she hosted last year. I really liked the way she did it and it all flowed so well. She's a small private barn as well. She had coffee, donuts, juice out etc in the morning as people were arriving.
The mares were inspected, then the mares with foals. Lunch was served and everyone took the break. The judges liked having a lunch break in the middle. After lunch the branding was done and people headed home.
It is always a disappointment to me when folks don't stay for the lunch. This is a great opportunity to visit and learn from each other, especially since this is the time when the judging team is open to questions. I understand the need to head home as I have traveled far to many inspections myself, but one hour in the grand scheme of things is not that big a deal.
We charge a nominal fee for lunch on our entry forms. That way, we get a tentative head count on how many to expect, and it also encourages people to stick around a bit. I think it is good for people to unwind a bit after the inspection before they get on the road, and the comraderie is fun, too.
This year, we had a celebrity Hollywood chef that has just recently moved to town do our lunch. It was a very big hit - by the time the inspectors and I got upstairs, most of the food was GONE.
Oh, I didn't vote in the poll because we don't do awards or branding. As soon as the premium foals are announced, we are done except for a final paperwork phase for people to pick up their mare/foal evaluation forms (something many people forget - I have to hunt people down every year to give them their forms).