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  1. #1
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    Default Spinoff Thread - FEH & YEH classes - Do they stand a chance?

    This is a spinoff from the Area III FEH thread where the show was eventually canceled.

    A few questions
    1) Why do you think the FEH/YEH shows are so poorly attended? If there is a particular reason that you do not attend these shows, what is it and what could make you change your mind?

    Personally, I will attend a local show but I’m not going to haul a baby out of state JUST to do a FEH class. I might if it was in association with a HT that I or my trainer was already going to attend.

    2) Would changes to the format or some sort of incentive program influence you to support these programs more?

    IMHO, you can’t evaluate a future event horse based on the walk and the trot. I would travel much farther for a show that offered an arena where the competitors could be judged at liberty to show the canter or free jumping was offered for 2 and 3 year olds.

    3) Do you find the cost prohibitive for the show experience offered? I find the price a bit high (in the FEH) for the show experience that is gained.

    My young horse needs to get show miles but trotting around a triangle doesn’t really prepare her for her future career. It’s a little bit expensive for the four-five minutes of actual show time that we get. On the flip side though, the show organizers complain that they do not make enough money to bother hosting these classes either. What could be done to make it more mutually beneficial to all involved?

    4) What other changes would you like to see come to the FEH/YEH program?

    5) If you are in an area where FEH/YEH classes are well attended, what do you see that is working for you?

    6) SHOW ORGANIZERS – Thoughts? Concerns? What are the actual costs associated with hosting these classes? What do you gain or lose by offering these classes at your shows?

    Personally, I would love to see a FEH/YEH cross-over for the 3-year olds. They are not old enough to go event but by the end of the year, many are under saddle. The YEH 4-year old classes can potentially ask training level questions. I’d like to see a YEH 3-year old class that asks very basic questions – maybe a BN type dressage test and evaluation of the horse at the walk, trot, canter and gallop under saddle in the open… a hand full of very elementary and inviting low jumps, perhaps changes in terrain or a simple water crossing – Something that will actually allow me to demonstrate that my Future/Young event horse is developing the skill sets necessary for a successful start in eventing and to gain experience that will be relevant to helping the horse prepare for what is to come next….

    I REALLY would like to see the FEH & YEH programs succeed. My filly will be four next year so will start competition “for real” and to date has only been to one YEH show. The sad part is I have attended EVERY FEH show that has been offered within a 5 hour drive. Yep, that’s right – we had ONE when she was two and none when she was three. Will I do the YEH shows next year? Maybe…. I have not seen enough to form an opinion. Probably not at the beginning of the year because the course calls for Novice level (and allows for Training Level) jumps and I want her to have good BN experiences before I ask her for something more difficult. I would like to assume that the YEH classes are set up to be good, inviting, positive introductions to the young horses but I have not seen enough first-hand so I don’t have an opinion formed.



  2. #2
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    I wondered how much of the difference has to do with a young horse in training with a pro and a young backyard horse raised and backed by the average working ammy. Does the ammy want to compete in these classes against a pro horse?



  3. #3
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    We will take three with us for the FEH at Twin Rivers in Sept (8 hours driving)...Ive done my best to let others know about this marvelous opportunity for breeders and owners. We did YEH with our stallion and are now ready to bring out some of his offspring. We are very much looking forwards to supporting this venue.



  4. #4
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    I have one filly right now, and I might do shows in hand with her as a yearling and two year old. Cost would be a factor; this year has not been a happy one economically speaking.

    Part of why I won't support the YEH classes is a difference in goals and work philosophy. I am not breeding upper level prospects, although I think I have bred four nice horses. So I am not necessarily going to be competitive with the people who are shooting for the top, and it's a lot of cost to prepare and compete. The other thing is that I prefer to take it slowly with my youngsters.

    I don't work my green horses hard enough to prepare for a 4yr class which might ask them to jump a Training level question; actually, I won't take one of my homebreds eventing before 5 yrs old, unless it is one of those Starter events with a 2' course or something we could just trot around like a hack out. At three yrs old there is no way I would be jumping the horse; two of mine did 40 days under saddle plus a lot of ground driving and such as three year olds and then were turned away until spring of the 4th year, when they did dressage. The third went under saddle as a three yr old and did flat work until the fall of her 4th year, when I started her over fences. I did more with her at 3 because she keeps like an air fern and light hacking and trails with a little dressage thrown in was better for her health than being obese.

    So while I hope those that want to have these shows available are able to support them so that they continue, it's not quite the right fit for me and my little herd.



  5. #5
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    I think these will always be a niche market.

    Eventers (horses) come from a variety of backgrounds, and while it's great for event breeders to have this opportunity to showcase their programs and for young horses to get on the map so early, it won't fit every horse.

    Many great eventers are still racing during their FEH and even YEH years.
    Other future successful upper level horses might be phenomenally bold and capable yet not have the conformation, movement, or jumping style to stand out in a very fancy crowd.
    And of course most eventers aren't even aiming for the top of the sport.

    I think the YEH horses are amazing to watch and I hope the program is benefiting event breeders and their trainers and encouraging more people to purpose-breed event horses.

    I showed in YEH a couple times on a 5 yo I had, and it was fun, good experience for the horse, great to see all those stunning babies. I would do it again with the next horse, despite having been thoroughly outclassed :-) .

    At the same time, I do love the nature of eventing that unlike dressage/hunters where futurities are good predictors of future success, in eventing the proof is in the pudding.

    I think many people will decide that if their horse has little chance of stacking up well, it might be a better use of money to do a novice HT.



  6. #6
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    I'm always happy to send my horses. There aren't many outing/showing opportunities for the youngsters.

    I do think the USEA/Areas could help by scheduling these classes for maximum attendance. That would mean (1) finding out which venues/dates would get the most entries and (2) setting a schedule -- and publicizing it -- well in advance.

    I don't want to see 3 year-olds under saddle. No way. (And my horses are usually backed at 2.)

    I do think the FEH judging needs to be refined. If the goal is to identify UL eventing prospects, I'd like to see a 'judge' be a trainer/producer (with a track record of finding UL horses) who treats the class as if they're picking out their next big-time horse. I don't know how you'd quantify these qualities but it's more than just a flashy in-hand trot.

    I'd like to see the judge have to justify their decision -- i.e., "I'm placing this horse first and here's why I see it as a UL eventer in a few years." That would make for an interesting class, at least IMO, and it would be educational as well.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EiRide View Post
    I don't work my green horses hard enough to prepare for a 4yr class which might ask them to jump a Training level question; actually, I won't take one of my homebreds eventing before 5 yrs old, unless it is one of those Starter events with a 2' course or something we could just trot around like a hack out. At three yrs old there is no way I would be jumping the horse; two of mine did 40 days under saddle plus a lot of ground driving and such as three year olds and then were turned away until spring of the 4th year, when they did dressage. The third went under saddle as a three yr old and did flat work until the fall of her 4th year, when I started her over fences. I did more with her at 3 because she keeps like an air fern and light hacking and trails with a little dressage thrown in was better for her health than being obese.
    I completely agree with this kind of work for a young horse. I am by no means a pro or involved in breeding in any way, but I have to question 4 year olds doing Training level. It just seems too early to me to be doing that kind of work with a horse that young. I'm sure with a pro there are 4 yos that can do Training with no problem. But I think it may just be adding to the sport's problems if youngsters are forced up the levels too quickly to make money on a sale...



  8. #8
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    Have to agree. Have a nice 4 yo. Started him in December as a three year old. He is not ready to do T. He was not ready to do N in the spring and probably isn't ready for it now. Is he an upper level prospect, probably, but I am not willing or able to put the miles on him to get him competitive/safe at the specifications. Also, there was NOTHING scheduled in Area IV at the beginning of the year. As soon as I bought him, I HUNTED for a goal/place to show him off in YEH. Richland was a possibility, except for the above concerns. Wayne (which is less than an hour away and I had planned on attending as a volunteer) was added to the schedule so late that I had given up preparing for YEH. This horse currently does a nice training level USDF test (scored 74%), gets ribbons at the AA shows over 3' fences, but has had little xc experience. In six weeks I will be confident taking him out for 1 BN run before winter and I will plan on trotting the xc course. I will trot the show jumping when/if necessary. Same plan I have had with the three 4 yo's I have had previously. All those were off the track. Most recent 4 yo before this one proved his value was in the hunter ring and that he did not have the balls for xc. It is too much too soon for me.



  9. #9
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    Definitely agree with what others say about Training level jumps and 4 year-olds. Might work for some but not for most and the effect is that it makes the YEH more for BNTs than regular folks.

    I really just expect the classes to be an experience for the horse. I don't need a judge to tell me if my horse is a UL event prospect. It's always nice to get experienced, intelligent feedback but it's also frustrating to see a horse or horses in the top placings that very clearly aren't UL eventing material, even thought horse may be a quality horse.



  10. #10
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    I have a three year old I 'd love to take. As of yet even though I'm in Nashville, TN the closest I can get is six hours. That six hours is not to a HT but to a FEH/YEH competition. I expect I won't know anyone there, which will make for two very long quiet days. (Although there is a COTHer or two I might get to meet!) The event is billing itself as a quiet laid back atmosphere when really what I want for my sensible, smart easy going three year old is the real deal. Yeah, put us in a ring that has some charge to it and give us a chance to show the judges how well he deals--probably a better indication of his future than his trot!

    No, no and NO to having three year olds under saddle. There is absolutely NOTHING that having a three year old know its canter leads that indicates his likelihood as future UL event horse. Even less would be any jumping. Asking for work that is not in the best interest of long term soundness--i.e. jumping 3 year olds--would totally nullify any meaning these classes might have. It is the same reason I struggle with the YEH side of things, a bit much too soon for my tastes. And just what does having a 4 year old jump a Training sized jump indicate about a horse that young's future that wouldn't be seen in a smaller jump? With a true UL prospect it's almost never about the height...

    I do not find the costs prohibited. Hell, I'm taking the boy to Ky Classique this weekend to hang out and by the time I pay stabling, non compete, office fees and parking it won't be any less than doing a FEH class!

    I do find it frustrating that the calendar is not set very far in advanced. Do I hold out for a closer venue or do go with the one I know is scheduled?



  11. #11
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    Default YEH Requirements

    So, the suggested height of fences DOES permit ONLY 30% of the fences AT THE CHAMPIONSHIPS to be of Training dimensions for the 4 y.o.'s and of Prelim dimensions for the 5 y.o.'s. In my experience, at the qualifying competitions, the 4 year olds might jump a few at the novice height, and the 5 year olds, a few at the Training height. However, my experience has been limited.

    It is my understanding as well that we are not talking Training and Prelim level questions, just a few fences with a little bit of substance to show the horse's braveness and willingness in a new environment. There will be some water, but nothing more than a crossing, and there will be a ditch and/or bank, but these are classically very small, very inviting, and do not involve "questions" associated with them (i.e. no banks in and out of water, no jumps in or out of water, no coffins, no trakehners, and no ditch/walls).

    I do not start my young horses until 3 and 1/2 (and they are usually late spring/early summer babies), but am planning to take my 4 year old (who has been undersaddle now for 8 months) out in a few weeks to do a YEH test. He has done one recognized BN and now 1 jumper show. He is by no means "finished", but he's not meant to be. The dressage test is not scored on individual movements, but on general impressions. I took a 5 y.o. that I recently had acquired off the track a few years back and while he still couldn't really walk in the dressag arena, scored decently and I went home with some great feedback from a very involved group of judges.

    I do agree, though, that it is challenging to evaluate young horses on their "Advanced potential" until they are consistently running preliminary and showing the heart and technique for more. However, the Brits have been doing these tests for years and have had huge success with the format. Indeed, geographically it is a far less daunting place, and they have been purpose breeding event horses for decades, but perhaps we should look at their Burghley YEH Champs for direction.

    I also agree with the post re: FEH and not evaluating the canter at liberty. Even the WB inspections want to evaluate each foal at liberty in order to really see the canter. The walk and trot are only SO important to an event horse. I do believe too, though, that the walk can predict the quality of the canter, however, some horses do not show as well in hand. Unfortunately, evaluation at liberty would minimize the facilities that could offer these classes as an enclosed arena would be requisite.

    And in reference to FlightCheck's post on the other thread, free jumping the youngsters is a great idea, however would require special facilities and certainly greater knowledge on the part of the youngsters. I do not like to train my young ones to free jump as I have not yet seen the benefit in the later years, but perhaps it is a formitive step that I have been missing and the format would require me to train the youngsters over fences at liberty sooner than later.

    Thoughts?



  12. #12
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    Actually, I am completely against the whole YEH section of the shows. I don't think any horse should be ridden "that hard" at that age. I guess I am just "old fashioned" but I go by the whole Dr. Deb Bennett "ranger study". You can read the whole study here, but it basically shows that the skeletal system of the horse isn't fully mature until the age of 5 or even later. I am aware that this is probably a pretty unpopular theory on this board, but I personally would rather wait and have good longevity for my horse. Sooooooo, that is why I have a 4 year old mare that has been backed but has had very very little mileage! (I do believe in getting them out young to shows - I've shown my mare in hand a ton...on the triangle even!)


    Just my thoughts!
    Sarah in New Hampshire
    My Blog - Adventures in Eventing



  13. #13
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    First of all let me say I'm not talking about taking 3 year olds out and jumping them. My 3-yr old has hopped over the odd log and is learning to deal with hacking down the trails nicely and to handle water. I don't see her being ready to go out and do the FEH classes early in the year - I think BN will be more likely to ask the questions that are relevant to her needs.

    I don't know what is to be gained by trotting her around a triangle.... I took her to her AHHA mare approvals and she was evaluated at liberty and free jumping. I think that gives a much better idea of what kind of horse she will be than watching her trot on a triangle.... But I do understand about the limitations on facilities that would create.

    That said, I'd go to any FEH classes that were offered in this area because I figure that something is better than nothing. As it is, we've got nothing in the area.



  14. #14
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    I love COTH forums. It was my intention to take my mare to a YEH until I found out that she would have to do the equivalent of Training level xc even though it's not a whole course. I'm like the poster who said her horses are backed at 2 but don't start really riding until 4. I want my mare to be sound at 20, not worn out at 12. She will eventually be bred with the idea of producing event horses and I was very excied about the creation of the YEH but I think USEA missed the mark for the general membership and catered to the professionals. So, what's new?
    Piney Woods



  15. #15
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    I can only speak for FEH but here goes...

    Quote Originally Posted by JWB View Post
    1) Why do you think the FEH/YEH shows are so poorly attended? If there is a particular reason that you do not attend these shows, what is it and what could make you change your mind?
    Lack of communication, poor organization. The schedule changes too frequently and is not published well in advance. The few shows that I have attended were not run as well as they could have been, so I'm hesitant to go to many more. Thankfully I'm able to save my vacation days to use on Fridays but I'm sure it's difficult for a lot of ammies to take off work. These are also usually hosted in conjunction with other HTs, so unfortunately for those that are on Saturdays or Sundays when I'm competing, my older horse has priority.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWB View Post
    2) Would changes to the format or some sort of incentive program influence you to support these programs more?
    YES. I gave a big rant on another thread, but I really wish the judging was more educational. I want more than two word responses for the scores my yearling gets and would actually like (verbal would be best) some general, overall idea of what you think of my yearling, especially COMPARED to the others. I have said this before, but if they would line up the class for the placings and go down the line and give a few comments about each horse, pros and cons, why they think they would be a good eventer, etc., it would be SO AMAZINGLY EDUCATIONAL. Instead we get handed sheets of paper with a few words and are left to go back home. While it's a great experience for my yearling to even be out showing, I'm there to learn too!

    Also, the poor organization really needs to get fixed. I know the program is still in the early phases but with how organized these HTs are, I can't imagine why the FEH classes are so disorganized.

    I agree that showing at liberty at a canter would be nice as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWB View Post
    3) Do you find the cost prohibitive for the show experience offered?
    Yes and no. I think it's a bit pricey, but nothing compared to HB shows. Again, while it's only 4-5 minutes in the ring for my baby, its standing to get bathed and braided, and hanging out at the show, and being around other horses, etc. Plus, I had hoped to LEARN more about conformation and such at these...

    Quote Originally Posted by JWB View Post
    4) What other changes would you like to see come to the FEH/YEH program?
    I'm copying some of this from my other thread:
    - Start times so we don't have to wait around
    - Clearly defined guidelines on how the day is scheduled (ie. 3 year olds, then their placing, 2 year olds, then their placing, 1 year olds, then their placing, with a note that all first and second place are expected to return to the ring for the championship at such and such time)
    - Clearly defined guidelines on placing (I'm not sure how it's supposed to be placed but once they placed boys and girls separately and once they placed them together)
    - Judges willing to talk to us and provide feedback (verbal and written) who seem interested in their job!
    - This might be disliked by some, but I view this as a learning experience not just for my yearling, but also for myself. I would love it if the judges, upon lining them all up for the placings, would go through with a microphone and provide some feedback to all competitors and viewers and give commentary on what they liked or didn't like about a horse, or what was hard to judge, or what they think the horse might be like, etc. They did this at my baby's Old NA inspection and it was absolutely wonderful and educational. Yes, you hear some things you don't want to hear because that baby is your pride and joy, but I personally still want to hear it and think it's extremely valuable to know what you're getting into, especially for those of us ammies who aren't making a business out of breeding...

    Quote Originally Posted by JWB View Post
    5) If you are in an area where FEH/YEH classes are well attended, what do you see that is working for you?
    I do think FEH is fairly well-attended around here. I think it's because we have a lot of great horse trials that have been willing to set these up, and it's a very high-density horse area.

    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    I do think the USEA/Areas could help by scheduling these classes for maximum attendance. That would mean (1) finding out which venues/dates would get the most entries and (2) setting a schedule -- and publicizing it -- well in advance.
    ...
    I do think the FEH judging needs to be refined. If the goal is to identify UL eventing prospects, I'd like to see a 'judge' be a trainer/producer (with a track record of finding UL horses) who treats the class as if they're picking out their next big-time horse. I don't know how you'd quantify these qualities but it's more than just a flashy in-hand trot.

    I'd like to see the judge have to justify their decision -- i.e., "I'm placing this horse first and here's why I see it as a UL eventer in a few years." That would make for an interesting class, at least IMO, and it would be educational as well.
    TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!!!!!
    Winfield Farm
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  16. #16
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    Having been involved in breeding livestock many decades -- the YEH and FEH classes have a purpose. The fact tha many have questions about the purpose does not mean the setup is wrong, just the communication about it.

    Some answers I've come up with:
    1. Showing time: Young breeding stock that is quality enough to be shown, should be able to exhibit their quality on the triangle within moments of being presented to the judge in hand and moving. This holds true with any breed of livestock. The champion walks like one and you can pick it out the instant they come in the ring. If you don't have a horse that shows well then practice or wait until it's older. Many horses don't come into their own until they have grown their structure and frame. Be patient!
    2. Publicity: These do not need to be promoted necessarily as spectator events but they should be held during the Sat. Sun. portion of horse trials. Sort of allowing horse trials to hold them on the "off" days of Friday is in my opinion not a good idea. The USEA should be encouraging events to mainstream these presentations in order to educate the members to the value of quality breeding stock. Which leads to....No. 3:
    3. An "organizational" hand should be given to events to help them hold these. Other breed associations conduct futurities, etc. with attention to the organization and presentation because it represents the breed overall. While we aren't breeding a "USEA" horse, we should have some kind of blueprint about organization so that classes are consistent from one venue to another. They should be held in an organized, professional manner, classes moved promptly in and out of the ring, judges accomodated properly, judging area defined and decorated, with a PA system available....which leads to No. 4:
    4. Continual judge education is paramount. Oral reasons should required to be a part of the presentation at least at the championship awarding, and should be strongly encouraged during pinning to help educate spectators. Just a few words from a judge about why they picked a horse would help those breeders and owners who are in attendance. This is done at every fair in the country and I grew up in 4-H being taught how to give oral reasons as a 12 year old kid. It's part of being a good judge, to be able to vocalize and organize your thoughts and decisions. I see it as being a very important aspect of the judging that is overlooked. Go to a top quality beef cattle show or fair and listen to the judges as they place the classes. It is an education in conformation.
    5. The YEH classes are meant to recognize the best and award them so that people continue to breed the best. It's something to aspire to. Not all 4 and 5 yo's are going to fit into the kind of training program required to show horses at those competitions. If your horse isn't going to be trained up to compete at those requirements, at the time they are held, then don't complain. It is not for every young event prospect, but only some, and some will come into their own at different times of the year. You hope yours is ready when the YEH, FEH classes are held at YOUR local event, but it not, you may have to travel at another time of year, or encourage another local event to hold the classes. The fees are absolutely compatible with all other breed classes and shows and in fact pretty reasonable when you consider it's a national level competition.
    6. I would like to see a 4yo in hand class for reason number 5, where we can show a 4yo stallion or mare in hand. (I suppose you could include geldings for the first couple years to fill the classes but they wouldn't be encouraged for obvious reasons.) Actually the mares could be judged as broodmares anyhow at this age and should be. You can't promote breeding without mares! They wouldn't be considered for the Young Horse Championship but could be judged in a breeding category.
    7. Showing horses at liberty is extremely risky and the best shows in the land do not do it. Valuable animals should not be turned loose to be judged, even tho this is done at many keurings it is strictly regulated at many. I don't think in America we have to follow Europe all the time. Our judges are perfectly capable and knowledgeable and can easily judge a young horse at walk and trot at younger ages. The canter and gallop come into play at the YEH competitions as they should be, where they are trained and under saddle, and in reasonable control of a rider.

    Just my thoughts - my family has raised national champion Angus cattle for over 40 years, we have shown from California to New York, and I have led five champions and reserve champions at Dressage at Devon in the past 10 years or so in three breed divisions. I have scribed at three YEH competitions, two were quite large, here in Area II.
    Eventing needs volunteers. Support Volunteer Initiatives to be proposed at the 2015 U.S. Eventing convention, Dec. 5! #becauseofseema http://www.eventhorse.net/volunteer-initiative.html



  17. #17
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    Pney Woods, I'm afraid you've been misinformed on a couple of notes.

    First, while the YEH program IS designed to help identify upper level prospects, it is not designed solely for the professionals or upper level riders. In fact, several of the winning horses have been brought up by amateurs or juniors and have been glorious horses. Second, the 4 year olds are NOT being asked to jump a "Training xc course". Instead, there is an option of a few bigger jumps to show brilliance and scope, but the questions are straight-forward and inviting, and a stop or a green moment in the dressage isn't necessarily penalized the way it would be at a regular competition. The idea is to evaluate the entire horse's potential, and to be accepting that it's still learning its job.

    Of course, everyone has to use his/her own judgment on whether their particular horse is ready for the questions asked. I had a four year old who was ready very early on in his career, and went on to be reserve national champion as both a four and five year old. My current youngster couldn't find his feet as a four year old, and wasn't ready for any of the classes (or even doing much undersaddle) until he was five. In contradiction of stereotype, the first is a big warmblood/TB, the second a classic TB.

    Absolutely agree that more classes would be better - but for a still fairly new program, it's growing by leaps and bounds. Encourage local organizers to put on a YEH or FEH - they do not need to take place in connection with a recognized HT.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotSpots View Post
    Absolutely agree that more classes would be better - but for a still fairly new program, it's growing by leaps and bounds. Encourage local organizers to put on a YEH or FEH - they do not need to take place in connection with a recognized HT.
    I think what you're saying is part of the problem. Let me explain...

    What the YEH/FEH needs is better, more centralized planning. Like others have said here, we'd like to see a schedule set well in advance -- something you can make plans around.

    Having FEH/YEHs pop up here and there is not necessarily helpful to the overall success of the program -- at least not in moving it into a more successful future as a program.

    Like I said in my previous post, the USEA/Areas should (1) discern which venues/dates will generate the most entries and (2) equalize the number of FEH/YEH opportunities in the different Areas. Then we could plan our seasons accordingly, just like we do with our big horses.

    For owners and breeders, it could also inform them of where to send their horses for their FEH/YEH years. For example, as I live in places that don't have these opportunities, I've sent my young homebreds to trainers in Areas 2 and 3. My three year-old has participated in the ONLY FEH (in Feb) in reasonable distance of her -- and she's in a very horsey, eventing-friendly area.

    I also agree with holding FEH/YEH on Saturday or Sunday, not on Friday. That's just too difficult for the working person and even for the local pro who would need to cancel lessons/commitments for the day.

    (Oh -- and I have volunteered to help with FEH/YEH. But I've given up waiting for my phone to ring.)



  19. #19
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    I'm going to respond from the perspective of a small-time breeder and someone who was on the organizing committee for an FEH/YEH.[


    1) Why do you think the FEH/YEH shows are so poorly attended? If there is a particular reason that you do not attend these shows, what is it and what could make you change your mind?

    I hope to compete one of my horses in these venues someday, but only if they are ready. I agree that lack of a centralized schedule makes it difficult to plan ahead, and that they assume an aggressive training program. I have been told flat out that they were/are intended to showcase BNRs' horses.


    2) Would changes to the format or some sort of incentive program influence you to support these programs more?

    I think that in-hand and under saddle classes should be offered for 4 and 5 year olds, combining both but having a much less demanding jumping test. Sort of a "suitability" division that would leave the other for horses with advanced potential.

    3) Do you find the cost prohibitive for the show experience offered? I find the price a bit high (in the FEH) for the show experience that is gained.

    It's high, but nearly impossibleto do it for less (I know: we tried!)

    4) What other changes would you like to see come to the FEH/YEH program?

    See above.

    5) If you are in an area where FEH/YEH classes are well attended, what do you see that is working for you?

    N/A None others nearby.

    6) SHOW ORGANIZERS – Thoughts? Concerns? What are the actual costs associated with hosting these classes? What do you gain or lose by offering these classes at your shows?

    Some issues we had: we were unable to run the same day as a local horse trial because said horse trial is already oversubscribed and runs dawn to dusk. Also, just about all of our committee and nearly all of our volunteers compete or volunteer at the horse trial and can't do both on the same weekend. We also found that the pros were too busy competing and coaching students to mess with the youngsters during a horse trial.

    Our biggest expenses were the judges and insurance. I really don't know how we could decrease those and be viable.

    By the way, our head judge (Eric Smiley) very generously shared all of his thoughts with several other judges and judges-in-training. I asked about miking him for the future and he asked that we not. He said (in essence)that it would inhibit discussion amongst the judges if they felt they had to be PC, and that he really concentrated on the horse in front of him rather than trying to couch his opinion for the owner or the spectators.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalannie View Post
    By the way, our head judge (Eric Smiley) very generously shared all of his thoughts with several other judges and judges-in-training. I asked about miking him for the future and he asked that we not. He said (in essence)that it would inhibit discussion amongst the judges if they felt they had to be PC, and that he really concentrated on the horse in front of him rather than trying to couch his opinion for the owner or the spectators.
    I'm not sure that's what a lot of us are asking for. Not being heard when conversing with the other judges is one thing, but would be shocked to hear that a judge wouldn't feel s/he could provide his/her comments about a horse to an audience??
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