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  1. #1
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    Dec. 19, 2007
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    Default Show secretary "A dangerous job" Your Experiences ??

    In last weeks leading equestrian magazine there was a wonderful article of a person who has been at the show secretary at competitions for over 30 years.

    She complained about the fact that people (riders/sponsors/horseowners) are getting more and more rude every day.

    I am not going to translate the whole article but just to give you some guidelines :


    "Heeee I ride a gray horse and washing and drying his tail cost me several hours, so I have asked you to start as last rider in my class, because otherwise I have to go up at 6.00 in the morning."

    "Heeee I told you that my husband needs the trailer to collect wood for our open fire place, so why did you put me on the starting list so early."

    "Heee our Nanny is not here until 10 O'Clock so why did you put me on the starting list at 9.30 ???"

    Just some examples.

    "Lack of discipline" is a personal thing !

    Theo



  2. #2
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    Jan. 28, 2000
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    Columbia, Maryland
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    7,038

    Default

    I hear freestyle designer is the second most dangerous job. If you don't change the music and choreography for the client after every judge's comment about it, your life is in danger.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Matson View Post
    I hear freestyle designer is the second most dangerous job. If you don't change the music and choreography for the client after every judge's comment about it, your life is in danger.
    There is a simple solution for this. Send the test including music and choreography to the judges in advance. And when they give their advice and comments say thanks and ACT if you have changed it according to their advice. AND PROBLEM SOLVED.



  4. #4
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    Oct. 2, 2007
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    haha. Over here in our backwoods, show secretary is a volunteer position and you couldn't pay me enough to deal with the stuff that sometimes comes up. However, most folks are polite and understand and try to work with you. But there's always one who is rude, entitled and whose time is ever so much more important than anyone else's. Those folks make for a good rant exactly because they stand out from the majority who are sane and normal and don't complain unecessarily.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatOnLap View Post
    haha. Over here in our backwoods, show secretary is a volunteer position and you couldn't pay me enough to deal with the stuff that sometimes comes up. However, most folks are polite and understand and try to work with you. But there's always one who is rude, entitled and whose time is ever so much more important than anyone else's. Those folks make for a good rant exactly because they stand out from the majority who are sane and normal and don't complain unecessarily.
    Over here show secretary is also a volunteer poisition and also judges only get paid their travel expenses. Let's for once make this clear. NO we don't get any money from the government. From money point of view dressage Holland is the same as the US, only our judges don't get paid (yet).

    Theo



  6. #6
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    Jul. 4, 2000
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    Maryland
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    Default

    I won't call the job 'dangerous', but it certainly is not one for the faint of heart, thin-skinned, or those who want to be loved and admired by all. A certain amount of schoolmarm 'take no nonsense' attitude is required.

    *star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001
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    8,895

    Default

    Having been a show secretary for well ... at least more than a few times, we have a policy of charging a fee (like $25) to for each ride that requires scheduling accommodations. Scheduling a show can be challenging under the simplest of circumstance. A couple of people with special needs can throw real monkey wrench into the day. Try adding a fee the Netherlands, I'll bet that slows some people down a bit. (The Dutch do love their cash).

    The biggest problem I have found is that most people don't understand all the membership and recording fees and documentation requirements that different organizations have for horse and rider. In California, you deal with USEF, USDF, CDS and DASC, proof of membership and horse recording documents must be provided for most of these organizations or a fee is due. And people get mad at the show secretary about it. Keeping the paperwork straight is a nightmare! If there is any problem, the show management may have a significant fine levied against them.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2001
    Location
    Alberta
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    Default

    I have been a Show Secretary in the past and let's just say it is definately one of the most under appreciated positions you can volunteeer for. For the longest time, the show I used to volunteer at would leave me alone in the office so I'd be covering people coming in with requests for bedding / picking up tests as well as scoring. People would wonder why I would be so short fused, but with all that stress added on top of everything else, it wasn't worth it.

    In face, I have in the past, confronted a competitor that was blatantly rude both to my face and than when they thought they were out of my earshot saying some down right awful stuff. Noone has the right to speak to anyone like that, no matter what the circumstances.

    I am now "retired" from being show secretary as well, I am back riding and competing again.

    Most shows I attend will do their best to accomodate everyones requests, however, where do you draw the line???

    Yes, I do make some requests, mostly when it comes to stabling, for the sake of my sanity (and that of my fellow competitors) I do ask to be stabled out of the flow of traffic so to speak. I try not to be too picky about when I ride (at one show I was the first one in the ring in 2 of my classes). There is one show this year that I actually may ask to go as early as possible on the Friday of the show so that I am actually able to attend (falls on a month end at work)



  9. #9
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    Dec. 2, 2004
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    Eastern Ontario, Canada
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    I was show secretary for a local organization for one year. That was ALL I could take of it! One competitor threatened me with a law suit for calling them out in two consecutive shows with invalid Coggins tests. They also bounced all their cheques. Others would phone at ridiculous hours of the night wanting their riding times (this was way back in the Stone Age before answering machines). I had the (unrequited) urge to say: "I'll phone you back with that when I get up at 4:30 tomorrow."

    By and large, most competitors are organized and polite, but it's those rotten few who make the job so tough.



  10. #10
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    Mar. 28, 2006
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    My absolute FAVORITE competitor complaint was the one who called me to complain that I had scheduled his tests too close together and how could he manage the warmup for the second test??
    He was riding Intro A and Intro B and I put the rides 35 minutes apart
    "When you think you don't need a coach ...then you're in trouble" Don Imus 2012



  11. #11
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    Oct. 2, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by FS2M
    Over here show secretary is also a volunteer poisition and also judges only get paid their travel expenses. Let's for once make this clear. NO we don't get any money from the government. From money point of view dressage Holland is the same as the US, only our judges don't get paid (yet).
    You talkin' to ME, Theo? Am I not allowed to express what happens here without you self referencing this as if I was saying something about YOUR country? ''Let's for once make this clear"-just because Canada shares the same continent as the USA, doesn't mean I am an American!

    Our judges get paid travelling expenses, plus per diem rates that are quite good, and they are limited as to how many hours per day they can be made to judge. In our larger shows, the show secretary and other organizers may also be paid positions, but not on my little island paradise.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF



  12. #12
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    Oct. 10, 2005
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    in the saddle
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    Quote Originally Posted by freestyle2music View Post
    Let's for once make this clear. NO we don't get any money from the government. From money point of view dressage Holland is the same as the US, only our judges don't get paid (yet).
    A story: a big US dressage show hired European judge(s). Judge(s) requested a 1st class flight, dining in the finest restaurants, and staying in the finest hotels = just like those judges are treated back in Europe. US dressage show organizer(s) gave European judge(s) a choice of paying $ and using a simple hotel, regular flight, common restaurants = just like US judges do OR spending the SAME (!!!) money for 1st class flight, dining in the finest restaurants and staying in the finest hotels, but no $ pay= just like judges treated in Europe.

    Guess what European judge(s) choose?



  13. #13
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    Dec. 19, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatOnLap View Post
    You talkin' to ME, Theo? Am I not allowed to express what happens here without you self referencing this as if I was saying something about YOUR country? ''Let's for once make this clear"-just because Canada shares the same continent as the USA, doesn't mean I am an American!

    Our judges get paid travelling expenses, plus per diem rates that are quite good, and they are limited as to how many hours per day they can be made to judge. In our larger shows, the show secretary and other organizers may also be paid positions, but not on my little island paradise.
    Mea Culpa.

    But i just want to let you and the world know that over here (Holland, the Netherlands) there is no such a thing like government sponsoring, or state studs. And NO our judges only receive their travel money and expenses.



  14. #14
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    Talking

    Dangerous? I don't think so,not unless we're talking about threats to composure and sanity.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  15. #15
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    Dec. 19, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dressage Art View Post
    A story: a big US dressage show hired European judge(s). Judge(s) requested a 1st class flight, dining in the finest restaurants, and staying in the finest hotels = just like those judges are treated back in Europe. US dressage show organizer(s) gave European judge(s) a choice of paying $ and using a simple hotel, regular flight, common restaurants = just like US judges do OR spending the SAME (!!!) money for 1st class flight, dining in the finest restaurants and staying in the finest hotels, but no $ pay= just like judges treated in Europe.

    Guess what European judge(s) choose?
    First these rules are made by the FEI and not the judges <period>
    Second I can understand your frustrations

    Can we get back to the OP now.

    Theo



  16. #16
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    Oct. 10, 2005
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    in the saddle
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    I've been used in most of positions at dressage shows and for me personally the MOST dangerous and underappreciated position is the bit checker, whip checker before/after the test. Holy cow!!! I understand that people are nervous right before their tests, but the rudeness is unbelievable!!! I NEVER, never, never did or will volunteer for that again.

    As for dangerous... another story: judge and scribe sitting at the table on a raised platform. Intro level horse takes off on a gallop. Can't make a turn and falls down and starts sliding fast toward the judge's platform... the end was sad for everybody involved.



  17. #17
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    Oct. 2, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by DA
    Guess what European judge(s) choose?
    OK, I'll bite, what do they choose?

    If it was me, the difference between a first class flight and hotels and restaurants (which I could never ever personally afford) versus the usual per diem rate, I take the first class package over the money everytime! That all adds up to thousands of dollars more to get the first class ticket alone. Our judges do not make thousands of dollars a day.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF



  18. #18
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    Apr. 8, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatOnLap View Post
    OK, I'll bite, what do they choose?

    If it was me, the difference between a first class flight and hotels and restaurants (which I could never ever personally afford) versus the usual per diem rate, I take the first class package over the money everytime! That all adds up to thousands of dollars more to get the first class ticket alone. Our judges do not make thousands of dollars a day.
    That's what I was thinking!!!

    We have a local show secretary that does almost all the local rated dressage shows... whoever used the description "school marm" got it right! I don't think I'd have nearly the patience she does...
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2000
    Location
    Chandler, AZ, USA
    Posts
    247

    Cool

    I was the TD at a show and a competitor complained about her ride time because the rising sun was in her eyes.
    Theresa



  20. #20
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    Mar. 27, 2001
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    North County, San Diego
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    593

    Default

    AZ TD, you could have told her that you's have that fixed by the afternoon!



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